Terry Crews has been tapped to put a modern twist on the classic African-American folk tale John Henry.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Saban Films has picked up the North American rights to a contemporary adaptation of John Henry that will star Crews and rapper-actor Ludacris.
In the original folk tale, Henry was a steel driver worker who was so strong that he was able to beat a steam-powered rock-drilling machine. Although he won, his victory was bittersweet: His heart gave out and he died as the competition ended.
But in the film, set in modern times, Crews will play John Henry as a man who leaves his “crime-riddled life for a peaceful one in Los Angeles.” But Henry soon encounters two immigrant kids who are on the run from a gang leader and Henry must help save them.
Crews’ John Henry film follows last October’s news that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was set to play the folk hero in a new Netflix film titled John Henry and the Statesman.
Although official details on The Rock’s film have yet to be revealed, he teased that the film would “highlight John’s “values, strength, morals and heart, all matter today more than ever.”
John Henry is set to hit theaters in the first quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, John Henry and the Statesman, directed by Jake Kasdan, does not yet have a release date.
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