A tiny Dwayne Johnson being stared down by a much bigger Dwayne Johnson.
Photo: Jim Spellman (WireImage via Getty Images)

Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? If you’re picking up a faint whiff of presidential aspirations, unstoppable charisma, and a firm commitment to getting involved in national politics sometime, many years from now, then yes, you’re smelling it pretty accurately.

Last year we reported on Dwayne Johnson’s White House aspirations, thanks to a GQ interview (and subsequent Jimmy Fallon appearance) in which the actor seemed to confirm that he was seriously interested in a run at the presidency, possibly at soon as 2020. Sadly for those excited by the possibility of The Rock body-slamming Donald Trump on the presidential seal, his filming commitments were already far too numerous at that point for 2020 to be a real option—during the press junket for his new film Skyscraper (filmed right here in Chicago, thereby guaranteeing Johnson Illinois’ electoral college votes), the actor confirmed that two years from now is just too soon to be traveling the country and spewing campaign promises, not when he can continue being much more successful and honest as a movie star for the time being:

Unfortunately I don’t see it happening in 2020. It’s a position that requires years of hard work and experience to learn the skills. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and due to my schedule, it’s not possible in 2020. I have so much respect for the position. It’s something that I seriously considered. What I need is time to go out and learn.

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That time probably won’t be coming any time soon, given he’s already on the hook for the currently shooting Jungle Cruise adaptation of a theme park ride, the upcoming Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs And Shaw, next year’s Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle sequel, and the still-in-development DC Comics’ Black Adam vehicle, just to name the ones we know about. But lest you lose hope, and worry you may have to resign yourself to the possibility of voting for people who have given their lives to public service or some bullshit like that, fear not: Johnson’s longtime friend and producing partner Hiram Garcia assures us his musclebound mate will still be ready to place his hand on a Bible and recite the oath of office—just not in the next election:

People called for Dwayne to run for president, and as that sentiment started to build up, he really started to respond to it and seriously thought about it. Dwayne really does care about the people, and he has great respect for the position that it requires and holds. Whenever we talk about him running for president, he’s very aware of the position and knows what is required of it, and he doesn’t like to speak loosely about it ’cause he respects the job, and respects the people and what it took to get there.

So, now that we’ve confirmed that 10 minutes of thought has already given Johnson more respect for the office than its current resident, can we get confirmation he’ll run in 2024, or possibly 2028, just in time for us all to finish watching the polar ice caps melt and board slave ships to work on the moon farms for Jeff Bezos? “You never know what will happen with Dwayne. Nothing is impossible for him. But right now, he’s very happy doing what he’s doing, ’cause he knows he can serve the people very well in this position of performing and entertaining,” Garcia says. Indeed. Skyscraper isn’t great, but Johnson is reliably delightful in it—and at least The Rock is striving for greatness, as opposed to prepping for a dismissal of his eventual indictment.

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