‘Young Rock’ details wrestler’s rise to fame in Memphis thanks to new incentive
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - NBC’s Young Rock season three will start production right here in Memphis. While the show tells the story of superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s roots, it’s a new incentive that brought the show to the Bluff City.
In the 21st Century, the Action News 5 studio is the home of the Mid-South’s top news stories, weather and all things Bluff City Life. But rewind a few decades, the studio at 1960 Union Avenue squeezed live wrestling into that line up.
Memphis and the WMC studio became the who’s who of the wrestling world. It gave young, up and coming wrestler Flex Kavana his wrestling debut. Flex Kavana eventually changed his name to The Rock, and soon everyone would smell what The Rock was cooking!
“It’s really part of our culture,” Memphis Shelby County Film Commissioner Linn Sitler said. “[Johnson] really is a charismatic fellow looking at the old footage.”
So it makes sense Memphis is the back drop to the upcoming season of the show Young Rock detailing Johnson’s rise to stardom. While a set of Memphis could’ve been built on any sound stage in the world, a new Tennessee state tax incentive got the crew to the real place.
“It generates a 40 percent credit against their payroll and wages they incur here in the state for the work done on the production here in the state,” Executive Director of the Tennessee Film Commission Bob Raines said. “What that allows companies like NBC Universal to do is to utilize that credit with their parent company Comcast.”
Raines and Sitler visited Action News 5 on Friday to see where Johnson got his start.
Raines said it took years to get the franchise and excise tax credit ready for approval from the General Assembly, which happened last year. Tennessee also has a grant rebate program for productions in the state. Raines said it helps bring more independent productions here, but was a deciding factor in securing the Bluff City Law production in Memphis in 2019.
Raines said the tax credit opens up a more secure future for film in Tennessee.
“When you utilize the tax credit that’s your bigger anchor programs that are coming here so that allows more workforce development, more infrastructure,” Raines said.
A Hollywood story has now found its way back to the Bluff City so the world can see exactly what Memphis is cooking.
The Young Rock production is still looking for local crew members and extras. Click here for more information.
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