With his work in the Fast & Furious franchise, to say nothing of random action flicks like San Andreas, Dwayne Johnson has developed his action-star skills to the point that he’s now being considered for his own DC movie, amongst other promising properties. As an action hero, the man needs little to no help, especially when you consider that he had the very best moments in Furious 7 and its predecessor. What he’s been neglecting, on the other hand, is his skillful work as a comedian, which has often yielded his most memorable and daring work as a performer, whether as the god-fearing musclebound crook in Pain & Gain or the naive would-be savior of the world in Richard Kelly‘s wrongly maligned Southland Tales.
With Rowan Marshall Thurber‘s Central Intelligence, however, he’s getting a chance to not only flex his funny muscles but to pair with one of the biggest comedians currently working, namely Kevin Hart, who recently reunited with Ice Cube for Ride Along 2. While at CinemaCon, director Thurber, who had a big return to comedic form with 2013’s We’re the Millers following his adaptation of Michael Chabon‘s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, discussed with Collider’s own Steve Weintraub having Hart and Johnson work together, and how despite their difference in size, they are very similar physical performers. Beyond that, he talked about what he has learned from test screenings – big takeaway: cut out the bad jokes – and what he learned specifically from the test screenings of a big summer comedy like Central Intelligence. He also mentioned that Warner Bros. would be premiering new footage of his comedy during CinemaCon, and he was very excited to give the audience a look at new scenes from Central Intelligence.
Central Intelligence, which co-stars the likes of Aaron Paul, Amy Ryan, and Ryan Hansen, is set to be released in theaters nationwide on June 17th.