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For the past few years, filmmakers Jonathan and Justin Gajewski have been developing Ring King, a biopic of Rocky Johnson, the famed WWE wrestler and father to Dwayne Johnson. Following Johnson’s death last month at 75, the filmmakers say they remain committed to bring his story to the screen after the project was first unveiled at the Toronto Film Festival in 2018.
“The world lost a legend when Rocky passed. His passing was heartbreaking for us,” the Gajewskis say in a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The twin brothers count Johnson as an uncle on their mother’s side, and were working closely with the retired wrestler on developing the script, which they are penning.
“Rocky was eager to share his story with the world. He wanted to impart his work ethic, values and entrainment mentality to inspire people the way it has inspired and motivated everyone who he has imparted these vital lessons to,” say the Gajewskis. “He faced many hardships and learned valuable lessons through those hardships, that he wanted to pass on to help anyone facing similar situations.”
Dwayne Johnson had been open about struggles his father faced growing up in Canada, becoming homeless at 13 and eventually beginning his wrestling career in 1964 in and around Toronto. Johnson would go on to be a trailblazer as the WWE’s first African American World Tag Team Champion as a member of The Soul Patrol. Johnson would retire from wrestling in 1991, and see his son Dwayne induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
“It was a great honor to have had the privilege of going over his story and him imparting to us the way he wanted his story to be told,” say the Gajewskis. “It’s very rare to have the influence of the person the biopic is being made about, so richly impact the development of it.”
The Gajewskis are producing via their JG Brothers production, and are deciding with their family how to proceed with the film as they look at potential partners to make it with.
“It brings us comfort to know that we’re doing exactly what he wanted, which gives us great motivation to keep going with his biopic. We can’t wait to share his story and movie with the world,” say the Gajewskis.
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