Race to Witch Mountain: Interview with Dwayne Johnson

Having signed on to the production, director Andy Fickman went to work tailoring stunts and action sequences that might interest his “The Game Plan” star, Dwayne Johnson, in coming aboard the project.

As it turns out, the film was not a hard sell to Johnson, who was a fan as well of the original movies in the 1970s.

AI got a phone call from Andy, who invited me to lunch to discuss a new project for us to do together,” Johnson says. “We sat down and he asked me if I was familiar with ‘Witch Mountain.’ Not only was I familiar, I told him, I loved the films when I was a kid. In fact, I had just watched ‘Escape to Witch Mountain’ with my little girl! When Andy pitched me this great story that made the whole thing a compelling and contemporary thrill ride, I was in. I said, ‘Where do I sign up, coach’“

What was appealing to Johnson about Jack was his character’s shot at redemption in a city that is known for making fortunes change in an instant. “Jack Bruno is a guy who has struggled to stay on the right path in life for some time,” Johnson says. “The only personal relationships he has are taking fares from point A to point B in Vegas. But once these extraordinarily gifted kids step into his cab, he gets an opportunity to do something that is really, really special. And that is the opportunity to save the world!”

Johnson was also intrigued with being able to fight against a non-computer-generated monster. “We all agreed that the Siphon had to be a real monster, not just a computer-generated effect,” Johnson says. “So we went to ADI, which had the best track record for creating out-of-this-world physical beings. They really did a great job in creating this very real, six-foot-six hunting machine. As an actor it is so important to be able to see what you are fighting, not just to react to points on a green screen. I love the fact the Siphon has so many weapons at his disposal, making him a very worthy opponent for Jack Bruno.”

“I have a real affinity for Disney,” Johnson continues, “and I was excited about the great, intense entertainment in the film. The first 10 to 15 minutes of the movie is like an amazing roller coaster and, once you get on it, it never stopsYbut the action is merged with all the qualities that make up the Disney brand: heart and family and humor, along with a touch of magic.”