Dwayne Johnson Refuses to Die (Hard) in New ‘Skyscraper’ Images
When I first heard the plot synopsis for Skyscraper (“a towering inferno almost a mile into the sky and my wife and kids are trapped on the top floor ... [about an] every day man and woman who, despite all odds, will dig deep and do everything possible to protect and save their family”), it sounded a lot like Dwayne Johnson trying to make himself a Die Hard mixed with a disaster movie (a genre he found big success in with San Andreas). And based on the pictures coming from the set of the film, they are leaning into the Die Hard parallels hard.
Look, for example, at this behind-the-scenes video of Johnson in costume. His clothes are a tattered mess, he’s got a big loop of rope over his shoulder, and duct tape is wrapped around his hands as makeshift gloves:
1am. On set of #SKYSCRAPER. Minutes away from me scaling the world's tallest building in what will be insanely rad stunt and breathtaking scene in our movie. Our Director of Photography, Robert Elswit won an Oscar for one of my favorite movies - THERE WILL BE BLOOD. The man knows how to calm a set before all hell breaks loose.. thus the beautiful jazz music of the iconic Sonny Collins in the background. I may be a little crazy but it keeps me from goin' insane. #CalmBeforeTheChaos #ALittleSonnyCollins #SKYSCRAPER #HongKong A post shared by therock (@therock) on
The rope evokes the hose that Bruce Willis’ John McClane used to leap off the top of Nakatomi Plaza, and the clever use of duct tape recalls how McClane eventually beat the evil Hans Gruber by duct taping his gun to his back. Here’s a picture of the same sequence:
Bloody and battered w/ my director @rawsonthurber between takes. WEEK 3 complete of our action thriller #SKYSCRAPER. This is my second film with Rawson putting my trust in his hands. A very smart, ambitious, extremely focused and methodical guy who wants to deliver a f*cking intensely breathtaking and epic film for the fans. Our story takes place in China. In the penthouse of the world's tallest skyscraper... on fire. More details to come down the road. Until then, WEEK 3 complete and we'll just keep on keepin' on. #JohnsonThurber #SKYSCRAPER A post shared by therock (@therock) on
Here’s one more nice picture for you, of Johnson (before his character gets his clothes shredded to McClanian ribbons) doing a stunt conference with his team:
WEEK 2 complete of shooting our action thriller #SKYSCRAPER. Not a very sexy shot, but I like the story here. Takin' a few minutes between scenes to "circle the wagons" with our supervising stunt coordinator @alpop.stunts and @sevenbucksprod president and producer @hhgarcia41 to kick around ideas on a very intense and raw fight that I have in the movie. Clearly I'm captivating these two men with my expressive hands, because Hiram looks bored and Alan is already putting his computer away. #SKYSCRAPER #Week2 #CalmBeforeTheChaos
Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
Global icon Dwayne Johnson leads the cast of Legendary’s Skyscraper as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Ford, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building … above the fire line.
Go check out Johnson’s Instagram for many more pictures, including a heartwarming series with Johnson and a boy who saved his brother’s life from drowning using techniques he learned watching San Andreas. (I clearly was not paying enough attention during that movie.) Skyscraper opens in theaters on July 13, 2018.