Dwayne Johnson’s Nigerian character in “Rampage” honours former NFL player Christian Okoye

Okoye

Watching the trailer for soon-to-be-released disaster film Rampage made me realise how similar it is to another disaster sibling in San Andreas, the 2015 film directed by Brad Peyton. I’d later discover that Rampage is also directed by Brad Peyton, and who better than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Davis Okoye to save the world?

Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unmistakable bond with George, the extraordinary intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers. He is an interesting and familiar name, wouldn’t you say? And Twitter user Wale Adetona yesterday pointed out the obvious in a tweet: Johnson’s character in his forthcoming film Rampage uses the Nigerian last name of “Okoye.”

The Rock responded to Adetona almost immediately. In his response tweet, the decision to take up a Nigerian name in the film was deliberate, a way to pay homage to Nigerian-American former American football fullback Christian Okoye, one of his favourite NFL players of all time.

The Rock was 15 to 20-years-old when the NFL played for Kansas City Chiefs from 1987 to 1992. He was a fan-favourite for many NFL fans, thanks to his large size at right back at 6-foot-1 and 253 pounds. He used that size to his advantage in the pros, racking up 4,897 yards and 40 touchdowns in six seasons with the Chiefs. He also added 294 yards as a receiver. Out in cinemas April 13, you can check out the trailer for Rampage below.

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