New Report Questions Dwayne Johnson’s Work Ethic, Ballooning Budgets


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has the reputation of being the hardest working man in Hollywood, however a new report claims that the bulk of that hype has been manufactured by the man himself. Amid delays of an upcoming Amazon MGM Studios Christmas action-adventure Red One, Johnson’s alleged habitual latenesses has reportedly cost the studio millions.

This is according to The Wrap, which published a bombshell exclusive on Tuesday claiming that Johnson’s chronic tardiness and lack of experience of the production company, Seven Bucks Productions, has caused the budget on the film to balloon to more than $250 million. As the publication points out, this sort of number is more along the lines of tentpole superhero blockbusters. 

The film, which also co-stars Chris Evans, J.K. Simmons, and Kiernan Shipka, is about a villain who kidnaps Santa Claus from the North Pole. Johnson plays a bounty hunter who joins forces with an E.L.F. (Extremely Large and Formidable) to track down Santa and save Christmas. The film was originally supposed to have been released around Christmas 2023, but the SAG-AFTRA strike compounded with production delays has pushed back the release to November 2024.

Several anonymous sources alleged that Johnson often showed up on set seven to eight hours late—sometimes missing several days of production altogether—forcing the cast and crew to shoot around his scenes. The delays alone have reportedly cost the studio at least $50 million.

“The only thing Dwayne was consistent at was being chronically late,” said one insider, on the condition of anonymity out of fear for being fired.

“It was a f–king disaster,” said another insider, while a third bluntly added: “Dwayne truly doesn’t give a f–k.”

But apparently Johnson’s habitual tardiness has been the worst kept secret in Hollywood. The Wrap likewise spoke with sources from a handful of other projects the 51-year-old been involved with throughout his career, such as the HBO series Ballers and Netflix’s 2021 action comedy Red Notice, who all had similar accounts of working with the professional wrestler.

“They rent a location they can shoot as much as they can of other actors while they wait for him to decide if he’s coming to set,” said one producer who visited the set of Ballers. A former production assistant confirmed this, saying that Johnson “was regularly three to four hours late to set. Keeping [over 100] crew members waiting for no reason.”

Apparently, on the set of his 2018 action flick Rampage, one of Johnson’s co-stars would actually keep a record of his latenesses. “Dwayne’s call times are never, ever published on the call sheet,” said one insider. “It’s because one of the actors on Rampage was keeping a log of how late [Johnson] was to set every day.”

Another source claimed that the reason Johnson is perpetually late is due to the fact that he refuses to work a full day of shooting, even though he already factors in his daily three-hour workout routines. “It’s his absolute refusal to work more than a four-or five-hour day,” a studio insider suggested.

In fact, the issue is even supposedly behind the infamous feud between Johnson and his Fast and the Furious co-star Vin Diesel. Although much ado has been made about the falling out (and apparent reconciliation) between the two alpha males, a source recounted to People all the way back in 2016 that Diesel was fed up with the prima donna behavior.

“Vin has been having problems with The Rock because The Rock keep showing up late for production,” a source said at the time. “Sometimes he doesn’t show up at all and he’s delaying the production.”

But that wasn’t the only falling out Johnson has reportedly had with a fellow lead actor. His lack of professionalism also caused him to butt heads with his Red Notice co-star Ryan Reynolds, who picked a “huge fight” with Johnson after he showed up five hours later, causing him to storm off set. Two back-to-back sequels were announced in 2022, but there’s been no word on the project since.

A spokesperson for Johnson did not respond to The Wrap when asked to comment about his behavior on the set of Rampage and Ballers. A spokesperson for Reynolds also declined to comment, however a Netflix spokesperson said: “Dwayne is the consummate professional and we’re thrilled to have worked with him on Red Notice, our #1 film.”

An Amazon MGM spokesperson likewise denied all allegations of unprofessionalism or inexperience regarding Johnson or Seven Bucks Productions, respectively.

“Dwayne Johnson and Seven Bucks have been incredible partners on Red One—a film that audiences of all ages are going to love this holiday season,” the spokesperson claimed. “Our testing has been very strong—the reaction from CinemaCon speaks for itself—and we couldn’t have made it without Dwayne’s constant work and support.”

“Any reporting that implies that we got to this point with him showing up seven-eight hours late to set is both ridiculous and false,” the spokesperson added.

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