Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size.
To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Johnson describes Davis as “a phenomenal character I loved playing. His history is that he led an anti-poaching unit of the United Nations, and that was after years of serving in multiple conflicts around the world as part of the Army Special Forces. So, considering all the things he’s seen in his life, he’s lost a lot of faith in mankind.”
Davis’s singular bond with George began when he found the baby gorilla hiding from poachers who had just killed his mother. As George was too vulnerable to survive in the wild, Davis brought the youngster to a new home in the sanctuary, where he has grown to maturity—a magnificent and stately ape with a deep well of compassion, a playful, communicative nature…and a wicked sense of humor.
“They’re a lot alike,” director Brad Peyton says, “They’re both funny, they’re both alpha males, and they’re both the biggest guy in every room.”
“I love working with Dwayne,” the director continues. “He’s one of the best creative partners I’ve ever had; endlessly enthusiastic and inspiring. He’s always looking for ways to take a more active role and challenge himself, always looking to give his fans something more than they’re used to seeing. This time, he said, ‘I want to be more scared and beat-up than I’ve ever been in any other movie,’ which is not easy, considering the kinds of movies he makes.”
Johnson, also an executive producer on the film, concludes, “The science [that inspired the film's premise] is fascinating. But we had to maintain that balance between delivering on a scientific perspective that makes sense and making sure we’re right around the next corner winking at the audience and letting them know we’re all in on this: hey, we’re making a big, fun movie about a crocodile with 1118 giant teeth, and a gorilla the size of a house, who likes to flip me off.”
In Philippine cinemas Thursday, April 12, Rampage is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.