It looks like 2018 is the year of Nigerian heroes battling giant monsters in Hollywood blockbusters. First, we got John Boyega’s character in Pacific Rim Uprising, and now we’re getting Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s character in the upcoming film, Rampage.
In the science fiction monster movie, The Rock – Hollywood’s biggest and most bankable movie star at the moment – will be playing a character named Davis Okoye, a primatologist who is Nigerian by adoption.
Directed by Brad Peyton — the man behind 2015’s San Andreas — Rampage follows Davis Okoye, who must team up with George, a gorilla-turned-raging-creature following a rogue experiment, in order to stop an invasion of giant monsters.
Sharing the inspiration behind the character’s name on Twitter, The Rock said:
“Since my character was adopted by a Nigerian family, I wanted his last name to pay homage to one of my all time [favourite] NFL football players — The “Nigerian Nightmare”, Christian Okoye.”
With not just one but two of our favourite actors playing Nigerians who end up saving the world — a serious anomaly in Hollywood — it looks like we’ll have to update our list of the best Nigerian characters in Hollywood film and TV.
It’s worth noting, however, that while it’s great that Hollywood is suddenly interested in letting Nigerians characters lead the show, it would be even better if the representation wasn’t just on the surface — a Nigerian name and an ankara jacket isn’t enough.
Rampage is set to hit cinemas on April 13.