Dwayne Johnson joining “Journey” sequel after Fraser fades

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Dwayne Johnson has a habit of taking over film franchises launched by Brendan Fraser.

First, it was “The Scorpion King,” a spin off of Fraser’s high-tech “Mummy” movies. Now we’re getting word that the artist formerly known as “The Rock” will star in Journey to the Center of the Earth 2” now that Fraser has bowed out to a conflict over start dates.

What is it with these two?

According to Heat Vision, original “Earth” co-star Josh Hutcherson will return as Sean Anderson, but Johnson will join the story as the boyfriend of Hutcherson’s mom. The two will go on an adventure to a mysterious island to find Hutcherson’s missing grandfather. The script reportedly is based on Jules Verne’s “The Mysterious Island.”

Like the original, the sequel also will be filmed in 3-D. Brad Peyton has been given the reigns, after knocking it out of the park with this summer’s “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”

“Journey” should begin filming soon to meet its announced release date of Sept. 23, 2011.

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