Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson sheds goofball cocoon to emerge as serious-actor butterfly in Not Without Hope

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson sheds goofball cocoon to emerge as serious-actor butterfly in Not Without Hope

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the pro-wrestler-turned-Scorpion-King-turned-Fast-and-Furious-regular is taking on a new mantle: serious actor. Johnson will take the lead in a film adaptation of Nick Schuyler's bestselling memoir, Not Without Hope. Schuyler was a former college football player on a fishing trip with three of his buddies—two of whom had made it to the NFL—when their boat capsized, stranding the four men at sea.

Johnson was busy this year, with appearances in Snitch, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Fast And Furious 6, among others. But after helping fellow action-movie stalwart Michael Bay move into more serious territory with Pain & Gain, the former The Rock is looking to do more dramatic roles. At this early stage, it's hard to tell what will be more difficult: leaving behind his action-movie persona to tell a harrowing story of personal struggle against the elements, or a 41-year-old actor playing a then-24-year-old Schuyler. Of course, Robert Redford's character in All Is Lost is 26, so anything's possible.