There are many films made every year. One of them was Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, starring Dwayne “The Rock, but seriously, it’s Dwayne” Johnson and Josh Hutcherson, who also starred in the kinda-forgotten 2008 original Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Journey 2 was a relatively fluffy piece that had the rare privilege of featuring Michael Caine, CBE, riding on the back of a giant bee in its promotional material. The plot involved avowed ‘Vernian’ (one who believes the complete works of Verne, who came to prominence in the 1860s, to be literal truth, and who turns out to be correct) Sean Anderson (Hutcherson) decoding messages from his grandfather Alexander (Caine) through codes left in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Verne’s The Mysterious Island and Stevenson’s Treasure Island, though presumably the Cliff Notes versions. In fairness, this isn’t exactly cinema verité, and the film doesn’t lean particularly heavily on its fine details.
Anyway, Johnson, Community‘s Luiz Guzman and Vanessa Hudgens (quickly learning how dull it is to be a woman in a film like this) trot off to the Mysterious Island Where Animals Aren’t The Right Size, find Michael Caine, and find it’s necessary to leave immediately. The film lives or dies on how much you enjoy the sight of the nine-time WWE Heavyweight Champion and Jack Carter vying to be a father figure to Josh Hutcherson, which this reviewer has to say was equal measures bizarre and charming. Johnson and Caine are homely, comforting figures, and carry the film with ease.
So for all its lack of sharp edges, Journey 2 hauled in a quarter of a billion bucks at the box office, and yesterday the rumour mill kicked up the news that Journey 3 is in the pipeline for release next year, and both Johnson and Hutcherson have already signed on. The writing team from Journey 2, Brian and Mark Gunn, remains intact, and director Brad Peyton is excited to get to work on the latest film that references Verne in some way:
“I grew up a fan of Verne, so I know a lot about the mythologies. Mysterious Island was one of eight or nine really seminal works. I know we’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do. This one’s going to be a lot bigger. We’re going to go to a completely different world. It’s just going to be a bigger experience, and we’re going to grow the mythology.Journey 2 was about rebooting a franchise; now it’s about making the seminal work in the franchise.”
So where will our heroes journey next time round, and will this end up being a franchise of eight or nine really seminal works? And how seminal is really seminal? Like, Ulysses seminal? Given the big noises, it’s not inconceivable that the whole series could be rebooted for Verne’s magnum opus Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Helpfully, Voyages Jules Verne have produced a little infographic primer for that epic tale, and is quite possibly a better source of information on the story than the films are. Check it out:
If that’s a little bad for your eyesight, click through for the big version.
So how excited are you for the next installment?Let us know in the comments.