By Hannah Soo Park
Did “Ted” just pave the way for talking teddy bears to make it big in Hollywood? If all goes well with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s latest project, the answer may very well be “yes.”
The “Fast and Furious 6″ star is reportedly teaming up with his “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” producer Beau Flynn to take on a movie tentatively titled “Teddy Bear.” But what’s more intriguing—besides having Johnson on board—is how the idea for the film came to be.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it all began when Greek fantasy artist Alex Panagopoulous whipped up an illustration. Johnson’s former assistant found said drawing and brought it to New Line, and just like that, everyone—Johnson, Flynn and New Line—got on board.
The fateful artwork itself shows a brave teddy bear brandishing a wooden sword in the face of a menacing monster while a girl is sound asleep in her bed. A caption at the bottom reads: “Teddy Bears: Protecting innocent children from monsters under the bed since 1902.” There you have it! From that, a potential “big four-quadrant franchise” starring a major headliner is born.
Just recently, foul-mouthed teddy bear Ted raked in more than $500 million worldwide last summer, so it’s easy to see why New Line is attempting to make the concept accessible to families this time around.
Johnson, who is set to produce and potentially star in the film, also has a string of movies due out this year: “Snitch,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Pain and Gain” and “The Fast and The Furious 6.”