It looks like we’ll be able to enjoy the latest movie from Dwayne Johnson – namely the most popular actor in the world – from the comfort of our own living room (or your phone – whatever your Netflix viewing preference may be). However, the role he has been cast in has inspired a backlash.

Johnson is reuniting with the director of ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’, Jake Kasdan, on the upcoming action movie which Netflix won in a competitive bidding war, according to Deadline.

The upcoming feature is called ‘John Henry and The Statesmen’ with Johnson attached to star and produce.

The movie is based on an original pitch from ‘The Lego Ninjago’ Movie scribe Tom Wheeler and sees Johnson play the titular character as he leads an ensemble cast of the most popular figures from folklore and legend from all around the world.

Johnson said: “Netflix is the perfect partner and platform for us to continue entertaining our global audience in a disruptive way.

“These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race or geography.”

The wrestler turned actor shared a teaser for the movie on Twitter and Instagram:


However many social media users have pointed out that John Henry is an African-American folk hero who, as a steel driver, raced against a steam machine and won, giving up his life in the process.

Johnson is mixed race and has played white, black and Pacific Islander characters in the past, but many have been unhappy with the casting. Some have even gone so far as accusing Johnson of playing up his black heritage when it's convenient.