Roughly speaking Dwayne Johnson is doing the same kind of top-dollar, macho-action-star thing that Kirk Douglas consolidated in the ’50s, Steve McQueen delivered in the ’60s and early ’70s, Sylvester Stallone dealt in the late ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, Arnold Schwarzenegger monetized in the ’80s and ’90s, Vin Diesel tried and failed to do as a stand-alone (until the Fast & Furious franchise took off), Robert Downey, Jr. began to do with Iron Man in ’08 and which Bruce Willis did in the early ’90s and is still half-doing today.
Except Johnson is no Douglas or McQueen (please!), and he represents an evolutionary step down by the standards of Stallone, Willis, Downey and Schwarzenegger, who actually made good films in their prime years. Johnson makes big, dopey, adolescent wank-offs, and then raises his fist and goes “yeaahhh!”
On top of which he seems less than hardcore when it comes to political principles and launching (don’t laugh) a possible Presidential run.
Last December Johnson told Variety‘s Elizabeth Wagmeister that he cares “deeply about our country, and about our people…decency matters and being a decent human being matters, and character matters, and leadership matters.”
And yet Johnson said that a 2024 run “would be the realistic consideration” because he has more movies and more millions to make before he tries to restore big-government decency and character. “Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020,” Johnson says, “[and] the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024.”
I’m not misinterpreting or misquoting in the slightest way here. Johnson really told Wagmeister that while he has serious arguments with Trump and that he’s giving serious thought to running because he cares about the U.S. and wants to restore a climate of decency and character, he can’t see running in ’20 because of existing commitments to make and produce a few more films.