YouTube signs up ‘The Rock’ for new pay channel290 views
CANNES: YouTube has signed up the world’s highest paid actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Doug Liman, the director of “The Bourne Identity”, to make shows for its subscription service, it said late Monday.
The Google-owned video giant said that former wrestler Johnson, who shot to fame in “The Fast and the Furious” films, will produce a series called “Lifeline” about an insurance company that sends its agents 33 days forward in time to prevent the deaths of its customers.
Liman, who also directed “Mr and Mrs Smith”, will use young stars spotted on YouTube for his show “Impulse” about a young girl who discovers she can teleport herself.
Both shows will air on its pay service YouTube Red.
YouTube’s content chief Susanne Daniels told MIPCOM, the world’s biggest entertainment convention held in the French resort of Cannes, that it was using data from its more than a billion viewers to give them what they want.
“Our thesis is simple. Identify YouTube’s most engaging stars and top genres, and invest in the content that fans tell us they want. In other words, let our community drive our content.”
YouTube Red was launched in 2015 with series from such well-known YouTubers as the London-based Swede PewDiePie and the American Joey Graceffa.
It is currently only available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand but will be rolled out into other countries next year.
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia, also a professional wrestler). While growing up, Dwayne traveled around a lot with his parents and watched his father perform in the ring. During his high school years, Dwayne began playing football and he soon received a full scholarship from the University of Miami where he had tremendous success as a football player. In 1995, Dwayne suffered a back injury which cost him a place in the NFL. He then signed a 3 year deal with the Canadian League but left after a year to pursue a career in wrestling. He made his wrestling debut in the USWA under the name Flex Kavanah where he won the tag team championship with Brett Sawyer. In 1996, Dwayne joined the WWE and became Rocky Maivia where he joined a group known as “The Nation of Domination” and turned heel. Rocky eventually took over leadership of the “Nation” and began taking the persona of The Rock. After the “Nation” split, The Rock joined another elite group of wrestlers known as the “Corporation” and began a memorable feud with Steve Austin. Soon the Rock was kicked out of the “Corporation”. He turned face and became known as “The Peoples Champion”. In 2000, the Rock took time off from WWE to film his appearance in The Mummy Returns (2001). He returned in 2001 during the WCW/ECW invasion where he joined a team of WWE wrestlers at The Scorpion King (2002), a prequel to The Mummy Returns (2001).