2:55pm PT by Ashley Cullins
Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia on Building a Rock-Solid Business
It takes an army of lawyers to keep up with the legal work for Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia’s growing business empire, which now spans production, live events and tequila.
“Our attorneys are an integral part of our process,” the duo tells THR via email. “They sit side by side with us as we look at the intricacies involved in all our endeavors and do an amazing job of holding our best interests as their core priority, regardless of the complexities of our deals.”
That team includes talent attorneys Harold Brown and Bianca Levin of Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown and corporate dealmaker Matthew Thompson of Sidley Austin, who joined Johnson and Garcia for a group photo shoot for THR's Power Lawyers issue just before the global pandemic began shutting down productions and prompting virtual-only meetings across the industry.
Johnson and Garcia — his business partner, former spouse and longtime manager — together founded Seven Bucks Productions in 2012. They've since backed projects like The Titan Games (NBC), Ballers (HBO), Jungle Cruise (Disney) and Hobbs & Shaw (Universal). But their work together certainly isn't limited to Hollywood productions. There's also a clothing line (Project Rock with Under Armour), a digital media brand (Seven Bucks Digital Studios) and a multiple-day live event that combines athletics, wellness and entertainment (Athleticon) — all of which come with unique challenges and legal issues.
"We have an additional level of risk to examine in that our enterprises are all forward audience-facing and, in most cases, have a global component to them," the partners explain. "The expertise of our legal team allows them to examine every aspect of our deals while assessing not only the inherent risk of the deal but how it relates to our existing portfolio as well as how it impacts the sacred relationships we value with our audience. Ultimately, they play a very important role in the final decisions we make."
In March, they launched Teremana tequila through a division of their company called Siete Bucks Spirits, which was formed with the help of Thompson. "They're using his connection with the world to grow businesses they think are relevant and important," says Thompson, adding that Johnson and Garcia were deeply involved with Teremana's development including everything from the overarching business plan to choosing the name and designing the bottle. "I can’t speak to what others do, but I think it’s unique to them. They spend hundreds of hours on these things."
Meanwhile, Garcia also leads The Garcia Companies and TGC Management, through which she guides Witcher star Henry Cavill's career and oversees a portfolio that includes investments in Voss water and Atom Tickets.
While Johnson and Garcia are deferential to their team, Levin says their wide-ranging success is no accident. “They’re not just creative," she says. "They are super-smart, shrewd business people."