Dwayne Johnson Lined up To Replace Pedro Pascal in Popular Franchise

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Dwayne Johnson in 'Jumanji' (L) / Pedro Pascal in 'The Mandalorian' (R)

Credit: Sony Pictures (L)/Lucasfilm (R)

Actor Dwayne Johnson was lined up to replace Pedro Pascal in a $900 million franchise. Here’s what went down.

Dwayne Johnson as John Hartley in 'Red Notice'
Credit: Netflix

Over the years, former World Wrestling Federation (WWF) star Dwayne Johnson has been one of Hollywood’s most commercial and highest-paid actors. Thanks to appearances in big-budget, high-profile franchises like the Fast & Furious Saga and Jumanji and recent movie hits like Disney’s Jungle Cruise (2021), Johnson has cemented himself as a family-friendly action superstar.

Dwayne Johnson in 'Jumanji'
Credit: Sony Pictures

Johnson recently made his Fast & Furious Saga comeback as Luke Hobbs in Fast X (2023) and will co-produce and likely star in the upcoming live-action remake of The Walt Disney Company’s Moana (2016). The announcement of a Moana remake was met with a mixed response. Some claimed it was too early to remake the animated classic, while others rejoiced at potentially seeing Johnson as a real-life version of the popular demigod Maui.

But the trajectory Johnson is on could have looked so much different if one director’s vision had come to fruition.

Moana (Auliʻi Cravalho) and Maui (Dwayne Johnson) holding an oar
Credit: Disney

Dwayne Johnson Lined Up to Replace Pedro Pascal in Popular Franchise

Six years ago, Johnson, riding highs from his stints in the Fast & Furious saga and about to make a splash in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), was floated by those involved to be the replacement for Pedro Pascal.

Pascal, star of Disney+’s Star Wars epic The Mandalorian and HBO’s The Last of Us, appeared as the villain, Jack Daniels/Agent Whiskey, in director Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017). His villainous character ultimately met his end at the hands of Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Harry (Colin Firth).

Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin without his helmet on
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Pedro Pascal Admits the Truth, Confirms He Is Replaced as Din Djarin Actor in ‘The Mandalorian’

And then looking at the second sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015), The King’s Man (2021), Vaughn wanted a surprising choice to replace Pascal as the new villain of the franchise — actor Dwayne Johnson.

The third Kingsman franchise movie did lower than expected at the box office, largely thanks to the restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, even with such an A-list cast. From Ralph Fiennes as Orlando Oxford to Gemma Arterton as Polly Watkins, Rhys Ifans as Grigori Rasputin to Daniel Brühl as Erik Jan Hanussen, Vaughn’s follow-up to The Golden Circle was packed with talent.

Pedro Pascal as Agent Whiskey in 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle'. Pascal is wearing a cowboy hat and wielding two pistols.
Credit: 20th Century Studios

According to both Vaughn and Eggsy actor Taron Egerton, that stellar cast could have also been with the addition of former professional wrestler and Hollywood heavyweight Dwayne Johnson.

“Matthew Vaughn expressed his preference for casting the renowned actor Dwayne Johnson as the main antagonist in the [second] Kingsman sequel,” FandomWire notes. “Vaughn also hinted at the possibility of expanding the Kingsman universe by creating a spin-off centered around the characters of the Statesman, a beloved addition introduced in the second film.”

Taron Egerton as Eggsy in the 'Kingsman' franchise
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: “The Rock” No More, Dwayne Johnson Ditches Classic Name For Huge Movie Deal

Around the same time, Egerton also weighed in on the matter when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, saying (via Geeks):

“I know who the character is and it’s nothing like this actor, but I love Dwayne Johnson. I think he’s the right fit for it, but the villain role Matthew has described to me is not Dwayne Johnson.”

Ultimately, Johnson would not replace Pedro Pascal as the next villain in the Kingsman franchise. Reports say that the actor’s busy schedule kept him locked out of joining the adventure thriller.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam in Black Adam (2022). Credit: Warner Bros./ D.C
Credit: Warner Bros.

At present, Dwayne Johnson is dealing with the aftermath of his big DC washout, Black Adam (2022). Touted as the saving grace of the troubled DC Extended Universe, Black Adam failed to deliver at the box office and left Johnson cast out as the anti-hero. Upon the DC Studios takeover by James Gunn and Peter Safran, the pair confirmed that the DCEU would become simply the DCU and essentially reset the franchise. Right now, there are no confirmed upcoming appearances from Johnson’s Black Adam.

Johnson can next be seen in Red One (2023) alongside Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger). The movie is co-produced by Johnson’s own banner, Seven Bucks Productions, which Johnson runs with former partner Dany Garcia.

Would you have liked to see Dwayne Johnson in the Kingsman franchise? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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