Some movie characters are just so bad that they should never have made it past the production room cut and yet somehow today, we have a Scorpion King franchise. The character first appeared in 2001’s The Mummy Returns played by a young Dwayne Johnson making his acting debut. His Mathayus was a very minor secondary villain to Arnold Vosloo’s main Mummy and is mostly remembered for the godawful CGI used to depict his monstrous form in the film’s finale. But in 2002, The Scorpion King got turned into an action-adventure fantasy film of its own back, set more than 5000 years earlier to tell Mathayus’s backstory of how he went from a desert warrior to the titular legendary hero.
Problem is, even with the charismatic Johnson in the lead, that movie was nowhere near as good as The Mummy films that spawned it. But somehow, despite a ridiculously cheesy story mixed with some more poor CGI, it made decent money at the box office. That led to the four direct-to-video sequels starring three different actors you’ve probably never heard of, with the most recent being 2018’s The Scorpion King: Book of Souls featuring Zach McGowan. Unfortunately, they were all rather terrible, with their most notable feature being that they were shot here in Cape Town so you’ll recognize quite a few local faces.
However, rather than see their poor quality as a sign that perhaps the franchise should just be left to live peacefully out in the desert, Universal Pictures would rather reboot the franchise (as revealed by Deadline) and try and turn it into something that could resemble a box office hit. And to do that, they are bringing back Johnson, who certainly knows a fair amount about making box office hits. Except this time, “The Rock” won’t be starring in the role that gave him his first movie break but serving as a producer with business partner Dany Garcia via their Seven Bucks Productions. The actor reflected on his original role and shared his excitement about the upcoming reboot:
The Scorpion King was my very first role ever on the silver screen and I’m honoured and excited to reimagine and deliver this cool mythology to a whole new generation. I’m thrilled that we at Seven Bucks Productions can help create those same opportunities for other hard-working actors today.
This new Scorpion King reboot will be written by Oscar-nominated Straight Outta Compton scribe Jonathan Herman, while a star and director have not yet been attached to the project. It’s also unclear if this will be a clean slate reboot with nothing left behind or some kind of sequel/reboot hybrid – maybe even a direct follow-up to Johnson’s original film ignoring the events of the sequels as has been all the rage in Hollywood lately? Whatever approach is taken, with Johnson’s many connections in the business and good knowhow on how to produce a hit movie, it will hopefully mean that we may actually get a decent Scorpion King movie.
Last Updated: November 12, 2020
November 12, 2020 at 11:36
Cool. This was one of those “cool concept, bad execution” movies.
One of many in a long list.