Reaction is mixed to 'The Rock's' new role as King Kamehameha

'The Rock' to 'The King': Dwayne Johnson to play Kamehameha in new film
Published: Aug. 29, 2018 at 1:38 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 29, 2018 at 6:52 PM HST
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HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - "The Rock" is now "The King."

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be playing King Kamehameha I in the upcoming film "The King."

Johnson made the announcement on his Instagram on Wednesday, saying from the day he started his Hollywood career, it's been his "dream to bring this legacy to life."

King Kamehameha is well renowned as the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom Hawaii, uniting the warring Hawaiian Islands.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "The King" will be a historical epic that will chronicle the life and story of King Kamehameha, "who fulfilled the prophecy that surrounded his fabled life since birth."

But the selection of Johnson to play the respected role is raising eyebrows in the Native Hawaiian community.

"I love Dwayne Johnson and some of his films, but he's such a comedian. I hope this is not going to be a comedy and the character is not a comic character," said kumu hula Vicky Holt Takamine.

Others also have reservations, but are optimistic for the film.

"Some Hawaiians in the community might take offense to a non Hawaiian, in this case a Polynesian to play this role. I will chose not be oppositional to it and support it," said kumu Hinaleimoana Wong.

Filmmaker Naalehu Anthony says Disney's animated movie, 'Moana' was heavily researched and inspired millions on Polynesian culture. He hopes a movie about Kamehameha lives up to the legacy of the icon.

"The hope would be that they take it and not have to be where it's not authentic and still let it be a big Hawaiian story," he said.

Johnson, a former Hawaii resident will not only star in it, but he will produce the film through his Seven Bucks Productions company, along with several other producers.

Robert Zemeckis, director "Forrest Gump," will direct "The King." Randall Wallace, screenwriter for "Braveheart," will write.

"In Polynesian culture we have a belief, that something isn't done when it's ready, it's done when it's right," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said in his post. "The time is right. The one who walks alone."

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