Dwayne Johnson popularly known as ‘The Rock,’ says he adopted a Nigerian name Davis Okoye, in the movie `Rampage,’ to honour Christian Okoye, the Nigerian-American football legend.
Christian Emeka Okoye born August 16, 1961, is a Nigerian-American former American Football full back for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1987 to 1992.
Nicknamed the “Nigerian Nightmare,” Okoye was known for his powerful running style and ability to break tackles.
Okoye’s six seasons in the NFL saw a league rushing title in 1989, two Pro Bowl appearances (1989, 1991)), and three playoff appearances. He ended his NFL career due to multiple injuries.
Johnson, confirmed the character on his Twitter handle @TheRock on Wednesday, in his response to a tweeter handler, Wale Adetona @iSlimfit who expressed delight on the positive spotlighting of Nigeria in Hollywood, stating: “This year of Nigerians in Hollywood! The Rock stars as Davis Okoye in #RampageTheMovie..’’
It was reported that The Rock, in his response explained that he chose the name to honour NFL football player, Christian Okoye and his Nigerian roots;
“Yes sir, happy you picked up on that. Since my character was adopted by a Nigerian family, I wanted his last name to pay homage to one of my all time fav @NFL football players – the “Nigerian Nightmare” Christian Okoye. Enjoy Rampage — Dwayne Johnson.”
‘Rampage’, set to be released on April 13, is an American science fiction monster film directed by Brad Peyton, loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games.’’
The Rock stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unshakable bond with George, an extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silver-back gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers.
But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size.
To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path.
Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote to halt a global catastrophe and save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
It was reported that Johnson, a producer and former professional wrestler, was number 25 on Forbes Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities in 2013.
He has been in the top 20 every year since and was the world’s highest-paid actor of 2016.