Young Rock: 90s Dwayne Johnson Takes Flight; Andre the Giant Preview

With the life of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (WWE superstar, Ballers, Jumanji: The Next Level) set to be the subject of the upcoming NBC dramedy Young Rock, Johnson found himself being gifted a special honor during NBC's telecast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade- well, his past self. During a commercial break in the festivities, an ad for the series came on that featured his fanny pack-loving, turtleneck-wearing, silver chain-sporting 90s persona floating high above the city (and yes, Today show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb did supply the voiceover).

Young Rock found a unique way to promote the show (Image: screencap)
Young Rock found a unique way to promote the show (Image: screencap)

Here's a look at the video, which ends with some interesting looks at the series' through-the-ages logo:

Now's here's a look back to that "90s Rock look" that launched a thousand memes (and one virtual balloon):

Yesterday, Johnson introduced to an individual who was more than "The 8th Wonder of the World" to him as he was growing up: Andre the Giant, as portrayed by Matthew Willig (We're the Millers, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.):

Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat) is developing the series and co-writing the pilot with Jeff Chiang (Fresh Off the Boat), with Johnson set to appear in each episode. NBC's Young Rock is executive produced by Khan, Johnson, Chiang, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz, and Jennifer Carreras. The show will be produced by Universal Television, Seven Bucks Productions, and Fierce Baby Productions.

Set to premiere in 2021, the cast of Young Rock includes Adrian Groulx as Johnson (aka Dewey) at age 10 – described as honest, headstrong, impressionable, and bold. Bradley Constant portrays Johnson at age 15, where he's doing his best to fit in as a normal teenager but puberty has other ideas. His size and full mustache have his classmates convinced he's an undercover cop. Uli Latukefu's Johnson (age 18-20) has just been recruited to play football on a full scholarship at powerhouse University of Miami. Though a superstar talent, a devastating injury during his freshman year puts his life at a crossroads.

Stacey Leilua portrays Johnson's mother Ata Johnson, who grew up in a first-generation pro wrestling family. A strong woman by both nature and necessity, she's a hopeful positive force in young Dwayne's life. Joseph Lee Anderson portrays Rocky Johnson, Dwayne's father. Described as charismatic and charming, the pro wrestling champion juggles the ups and downs of his career with being a well-intentioned, but unorthodox, husband and father. Ana Tuisila's Lia Maivia is Ata's mother and Johnson's grandmother. The first female pro-wrestling promoter in the country, Lia is a sweet, loving grandmother- but when need be? She can easily be a cutthroat, ruthless businesswoman.

At the beginning of the year when news of the series was first announced, Johnson took to Instagram to offer his thoughts on what it felt like to be bringing his childhood story to the small screen:

For the first time ever I'm bringing you along with me to experience my insanely unbelievable childhood, teenage years and adolescence. My close friends refer to me as the big, brown tattooed Forrest Gump because of everyone and everything that has weaved in and out of my surreal life. I've seen it all my friends – success, failure, homelessness, evictions, suicide attempts, arrests, hard times, good times, low times, high times. And all this shit happened to me by the time I turned 21 😂🤦🏽‍♂️ This is a show about my young life. And the lessons I learned. The good, the bad, the ugly but ALWAYS FUNNY 😂 Excited to bring you on this journey of taking a look at my past life, thru the lens of what the future holds. And who knows what that might 😉🇺🇸 be. @nbc @sevenbucksprod #fiercebabyproductions #YOUNGROCK Coming soon!

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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