Gears of War screenwriter Chris Morgan said he’s having a hard time envisioning one particular actor in the lead role of Marcus Fenix but thinks that former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be an “awesome” choice.
“Normally when I write, I think about the actor I’m writing for, but this one’s been difficult,” Morgan said in an interview with MTV Movies. The screenwriter, whose previous credits include The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Wanted, said picking the right actor for the pivotal role of Marcus Fenix was a “vital choice” and suggested that The Rock, he of the prehensile eyebrow and the People’s Elbow, has both the physical presence and the acting chops to fit the bill perfectly.
“The Rock is awesome,” Morgan said. “There’s a genuine actor. Not only can he play the tough guy, but he can also play the nuanced, sensitive funny sad moments as well.” He added that his experience in the business thus far has taught him that “it’s harder to play the tough guy than an emotional character who’s all over the place,” a truth that anyone who watched Schwarzenegger just about herniate himself while trying to cry in End of Days can attest to.
“I don’t think they’re looking so much for size, but a guy you believe can throw a punch, and a guy you believe is stoic, locked in his own head, and [can] show emotion without telegraphing it,” he continued. “If you just play the big tough guy, it comes off as one-note and cardboard and not a believable character. So an actor has to find little things and put emotion into them that works in a more subtle way than just being stoic.”
It seems like a reasonable choice to me. As action stars go, Johnson brings as much range to the screen as anyone. But there’s always room for debate. Christian Bale’s turn in Terminator Salvation paints him as a solid choice; Bruce Willis is getting old but might still have it in him. Maybe Jason Statham, if he can do something about that accent. It’s a toughie, alright. What do you think?