So when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was first announced as being one of the stars of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, I saw and heard fans complaining. Claiming that he was just an ex-wrestler with no real star power, and that he really should not be involved in the Joe film.
There were people out there who said his involvement didn’t make any sense and that he wouldn’t bring an ounce of credibility to the G.I. Joe film franchise. As time has gone on, those people have relaxed somewhat, but they are still out there. And to those fans, I just have to say “look at the numbers”.
Dwayne Johnson posted the first apparent “in costume” picture of himself as Roadblock about 60 short minutes ago. Along with Twitter he also posted it on Facebook. An hour later, the image has almost 2,700 comments, and nearly 16,000 “likes”. As a whole, the Facebook page for Dwayne Johnson himself has a whopping 4 million fans who like it.
Contrast all of this with the original G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which currently as 15,000 likes on its own, and its easy to see that a thriving social media empire and a likable personality can combine to create a LOT of buzz. The Rock will put butts in seats, and the G.I. Joe sequel can use as many butts as it can possibly get.
This doesn’t even mention Jon Chu and Ray Park, both of whom are very active on Twitter as well. Something tells me this somewhat younger and fresher perspective might just drive more box office dollars. Regardless of your opinion of the G.I. Joe film franchise, this is a good thing for all of us.