Brendan Fraser will not be returning to the Journey to the Center of the Earth franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fraser dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, so the torch will now be passed to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for the next installment of the adventure series, entitled Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
Johnson will not reprise Fraser’s role in the sequel. He will play the boyfriend of the mother of aspiring adventurer Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson.)
Family friendly Journey to the Center of the Earth was one of the first films to capitalize on the 3D craze, and earned over $100M domestically, and $250 worldwide.
The sequel will be based on Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island. Johnson will join Anderson’s character on a quest to find his missing grandfather on a mysterious island. The film will be shot and released in 3D. Filming is to begin in late October
Johnson has established himself as a bankable anchor for recent family dramas The Tooth Fairy ($58M) and Race to Witch Mountain ($67M.) He also appeared in The Mummy Returns opposite Brendan Fraser.
Next up for Johnson is the action thriller Faster, coming out around Thanksgiving.