Dwayne Johnson to Produce, Potentially Star in Teddy Bear Movie at New Line (Exclusive)
Movie ideas and projects come in many forms. A script, a life story, a sentence on a napkin.
Now New Line has bought one based on an illustration, and it comes with Dwayne Johnson attached to produce and potentially star and Beau Flynn on board to produce.
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The picture in question was drawn by Alex Panagopoulos, a Greek software engineer turned fantasy artist. It features a little girl asleep in bed while a small brown teddy bear -- brandishing a laughably small wooden sword and shield -- holds an enormous, fanged monster at bay. And in the fashion of a motivational poster, a caption reads “Teddy Bears: Protecting innocent children from monsters under the bed since 1902." (The teddy bear was invented in 1902 by Morris Michtom, who was inspired by a political cartoon featuring President Theodore Roosevelt and a bear he refused to shoot.)
Hiram Garcia, a former assistant to Johnson, found the illustration and brought it to Flynn’s FlynnPictureCo and New Line. The company, Flynn and Johnson together made the 2012 family adventure movie Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; Garcia was an associate producer on the film, which made nearly $328 million worldwide.
Johnson, Flynn and Garcia will produce what is tentatively called Teddy Bear. Michael Disco and Sam Brown will oversee for New Line; Adam Yoelin is shepherding for FlynnPictureCo.
No writer is attached and the story’s take is being kept secret, but New Line is hoping to launch a big four-quadrant franchise. They no doubt were emboldened by the megahit bear comedy Ted, which made more than $500 million worldwide for Universal last summer -- this project will be much different in tone.
Johnson has a big year ahead of him. The actor formerly known as The Rock next stars in Snitch from Summit, followed by the spring releases G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain. The former pro wrestler also has The Fast and The Furious 6 this summer.
He is repped by WME and Gang Tyre.
by Pamela McClintock
by Richard Newby