Ahead of Jumanji, Dwayne Johnson covers Entertainment Weekly, with an accompanying slightly disturbing sexy Santa-themed photoshoot. (Some things should never be sexy and Santa is one of them.) The cover teases Johnson talking about his imaginary presidential run, though those quotes are left out of the online preview, but if we’re going to start casting the presidency like a reality show, sure, let’s elect President The Rock. It cannot possibly be worse than what is happening right now. What is in the online preview is the usual soundbites you get from Johnson, about his incredible work ethic and self-motivation—he likes “operating like my back’s against the wall,” which begs the question of what scenario he is imagining in which DWAYNE JOHNSON has his back against the wall. Is he imagining a horde of komodo dragons slowly advancing upon him?—and how everyone likes him and he’s self-minting franchise gold. He has long since mastered the art of talking without saying anything.
But there are things to talk about, chiefly Jumanji, which is tracking for a $60 million opening weekend. Up against Star Wars, that would be a fantastic result, and another jewel in Johnson’s box office crown, and will completely erase the failure of Baywatch earlier this year. Johnson isn’t wearing that anyway—even though he did produce it, so he should share in the blame—but if he closes the year with a W, it will be like Baywatch never happened.
A big question mark for him, though, is what is happening with his proposed DC villain project, Black Adam? In the wake of Justice League’s failure, there has been no significant movement at DC Films, but Warner Brothers usually does their firing right before the holidays, so there’s still a few weeks to see what, if any, changes will be made in response to the wheels coming off their superhero machine. Because of Johnson’s popularity, they should probably hold onto his project, but if a new honcho comes in to run the DC Films unit, will they want to keep anything developed by the team that face-planted? It’s going to be very interesting to see what does and doesn’t survive the upcoming executive shuffle.