Dwayne Johnson makes spectacular leap of faith in ‘Skyscraper’

Action superstar Dwayne Johnson headlines Universal Pictures and Legendary’s epic action thriller Skyscraper. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber describes it as Die Hard meets Towering Inferno set in Hong Kong—a love letter to the action movies the director grew up watching. “I wanted to make a big movie that demands a big-screen experience, with the biggest movie star in the world driving every bit of it,” he says.

To that end, Thurber is proudest of the fact that his film isn’t based on a comic book; it’s not a reboot, remake, prequel or sequel. “Skyscraper is an original idea, one that guarantees the audience won’t know what’s going to happen next. I wanted to make something with Dwayne that audiences have to experience firsthand in the theater, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”

Johnson explains why he was drawn to the project, one he calls “easily, the most physically demanding role I’ve ever played.” He notes: “The number-one anchor with audiences all around the world is the bond of family. Regardless of race or culture or class or religion, the ideology of family is one everyone relates to. There’s something very visceral about a family being torn apart, and the parents doing everything they can to protect their young. That’s always been a special anchor for us in Skyscraper, and for us to explore this on the canvas of film makes it so relevant to people.”

It wasn’t just the premise, but the chance to work once again with collaborator Thurber that drew in the performer/producer. “Rawson is one of the very unique talents in Hollywood in that he is the sole writer and director of projects on a massive scale. All this all this comes out of his head and out of his brain. When he pitched me Skyscraper, I was in 100 percent. I felt like it was an amalgamation of Die Hard, The Towering Inferno and The Fugitive—Harrison Ford was already the inspiration for Will Sawyer.”

Of utmost importance to the filmmaker was for audiences finally to see Dwayne Johnson as a vulnerable hero. “We all know him as The Rock; we all know he can pick up a truck and throw it through a building,” laughs Thurber. “But that’s not what is most interesting about him as an actor and a person. I also don’t think that’s what audiences always relate to. People love Indiana Jones because he takes a punch, not because he can give a punch. He’s just a normal guy who is trying to survive the adventure. Dwayne and I wanted Will to be someone who barely survives the trials and tribulations he will be put through.”

As the director fleshed out the story, the stakes became even greater for Will. “The building is on fire, Sawyer’s family is trapped above the fire line, and he’s outside the building,” explains Thurber. “What’s more, he’s being framed for the fire. So he’s got to figure out how to get into the building to rescue his family, figure out who the bad guys are, stop them and clear his name and get out. All in one day.” As he wrote this film for Johnson, the filmmaker reflects: “I wanted to challenge Dwayne. I wanted to see him be vulnerable. I wanted him to see him think his way out of a problem instead of punch his way out…and I wanted to see him barely survive.”

“In today’s world, there are big superhero movies, big movies that are franchises and big commercial popcorn movies,” ends Johnson. “I know, because I make them. But what I also like about Skyscraper is we are a big summer movie; we’re fun, and we’re supposed to be. But there’s also something really gritty and down-and-dirty about it that sets it apart from everything else out there. I’m very proud of it.”

In cinemas July 11, 2018, Skyscraper is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

About Skyscraper

Global icon Dwayne Johnson leads the cast of Universal Pictures and Legendary’s Skyscraper as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building…above the fire line.

Written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, We’re the Millers), the 3D action-thriller is produced by Beau Flynn (San Andreas, Baywatch), Johnson, Thurber and Hiram Garcia (San Andreas, Central Intelligence).

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ connects directly with ‘Avengers 4’

Producer Kevin Feige says Scott Lang, Hope Van Dyne are very important characters to what happens next in the MCU.

Don’t look now, but it appears “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” aka Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, will have a major influence in the resolution of the events after last April’s “Avengers: Infinity War.”

In a recent featurette released by Marvel Studios (https://youtu.be/tn9uHjqeqFQ), Feige declares, “Ant-Man and The Wasp also directly connects to `Avengers 4.’ These characters are going to be very important going forward.”

Meanwhile, director Peyton Reed also shared his thoughts on how the Marvel Cinematic Universe was incorporated into “Ant-Man and The Wasp.”

“Of course, the one thing the audience knows is that Scott Lang is in a prison underwater somewhere, but there’s the hint that Captain America busts them out,” explains Reed. “And presumably he takes the Ant-Man/Giant-Man suit with him. But that’s really all we know. So one of the big challenges was that for the little amount of time that Scott Lang is in `Captain America: Civil War,’ we had to take in account what that meant for these characters going forward.

“We landed on a really fun way to find Scott and Hope at the beginning of the movie, and Hank Pym as well,” continues Reed. “It takes into account the events of `Civil War.’”

Scott and Hank in the larger MCU

“One of the things to bear in mind about `Ant-Man and The Wasp’ is that it is set post Sokovia Accords,” adds Reed. “So just as Hope is about to come into her own as a hero, she’s got to figure out what it means to be a hero in the world of the Sokovia Accords. With Hank, I think it’s fair to say that at the beginning of the movie Hank is not very happy with Scott Lang for having taken the Ant-Man suit and exposed that technology to the Avengers.

“It’s Hank’s worst nightmare. He’s looking for someone who’s going to be a faithful steward of this technology whom he can trust and who understands how powerful this technology is. And then Scott gets roped into this Avengers in-fighting and winds up in prison, and the suit is confiscated. Hank may be having second thoughts about whether Scott is up to the challenge of being Ant-Man. Scott’s actions in “Civil War” have real ramifications on the characters in this movie,” says Reed.

Ant-Man during Infinity War

For his participation in epic airport brawl in “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott was thrown in jail, but was later liberated by Captain America. “Avengers: Infinity War” elaborates about this when Captain America explains that Scott took a plea deal and is living under house arrest. Gallivanting around the world as a super-outlaw and spy would have taken too much of a toll on his family, so he elected to hang up his costume. But did he?

Fans will find out together when they watch the fun-filled “Ant-Man and The Wasp” now in Philippine cinemas nationwide.

Join the conversation online and use the hashtags #AntmanAndTheWasp and #MarvelPH.

About Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp”

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choice as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside the Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John Kamen, Abby Ryder-Forston, Randall Park, with Michelle Pfeiffer, with Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas.

M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’ reveals teaser poster

“You cannot contain what you are.” Take your first-look at the teaser poster of director M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming suspense thriller “Glass” starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy.

Check out the poster below and watch “Glass” in Philippine cinemas January 2019.

About “Glass”

From “Unbreakable,” Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from “Split” are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.

Following the conclusion of “Split,” Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

This riveting culmination of his worldwide blockbusters will be produced by Shyamalan and Jason Blum, who also produced the writer/director’s previous last two films. They produce again with Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock, and Steven Schneider, who will executive produce.