Finally, The Rock Has Come Back To LA Comic Con (For The First Time)

by Gary Catig

As previously reported, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was set to make a rare convention appearance at Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con.  Early Saturday evening, Johnson closed out the main stage to promote his latest movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  His panel first began with showing the trailer to the film.  Afterwards, the namesake for the convention, Stan Lee, came out to introduce the star of the night to the stage. Hearkening back to his days in the WWE, Johnson played to the audience and did some mic work saying such catch phrases as “Finally, the Rock has come back” and “It doesn’t matter”.

The Jumanji sequel follows four teenagers who are stuck in detention, that are magically transported into a video game that resembles the same jungle setting as the original board game.  The Rock plays the video game avatar Smolder Bravestone, an archeologist and explorer.  Bravestone’s real world counterpart is a nerdy gamer named Spencer Miller. The teenagers must play the game until the very end in order to escape and return to their world.

Through the movie, Johnson hopes to introduce Jumanji to a new generation and wanted pay homage to the late Robin Williams, who first brought the film’s magic to the big screen. Also, he has so much love and reverence for the original that he wanted to maintain that spirit in the sequel.

No panel is complete without a Q & A session. When asked about his nerdiest trait in high school, Johnson answered with how he embraced the fanny pack.  If he could go back into wrestling, the main three opponents he would like to face in the ring are Triple H, Brock Lesnar, and Roman Reigns, who was in special need of a butt whooping. In addition, he considered the possibility of running to be leader of the free world at some point because he likes the idea of “the People’s President”.

When questioned about the action movie stars he idolized before he became one himself, he responded with some of the legends like Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He added that when he broke out with The Scorpion King, the very actors he looked up to were very gracious and welcoming as he joined their ranks. That’s why he believes to always be good to people. Not all his idols were in movies, as he grew up in a professional wrestling family, so Johnson also declared his admiration for such athletes as Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Randy “The Macho Man” Savage.

Finally, some behind the scenes footage of the movie with all his costars was shown. Johnson had to leave since he’s in the middle of shooting his next movie, Skyscraper, but before he departed he took a selfie with the entire audience. The panel was short compared to most, lasting for a little over a half an hour. This was probably due to his tight schedule, but listening to the crowd response, it seemed they were still very satisfied.

Gary Catig

Gary Catig is west coast raised, east coast educated, and has a touch of southern charm. He has spent most of his adult life making science fiction a reality as an engineer conducting research in the military, microprocessor, and biotechnology fields. While currently living in San Diego, he enjoys all facets of pop culture including but not limited to comics, TV, movies, and music.