Artificial Intelligence and TV in the Future


If you’re impressed by today’s “smart TVs” that handle all of your digital entertainment needs, just wait for the next generation of TVs powered by artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, the Chinese tech company Xiaomi recently released the “first AI television” (the Mi TV 3S), and seemingly every month, a new company is highlighting how artificial intelligence could be used to transform the TV viewing experience. So what’s the future of artificial intelligence and TV?

#1: Artificial intelligence and the future of TV advertising

The first and most obvious way that AI is going to change the TV viewing experience is via advertising. Ads are going to become super-targeted, thanks to the ability of powerful AI algorithms to deliver the right ad, at the right time, to the right person.

Think about the current viewing experience on linear TV – each viewer sees the same ad, regardless of geographic location, how much money they make, or their age, race, gender or ethnic background. Thus, during prime time TV, tens of millions of people are all seeing the same ad at the same time.

Now contrast that to the digital streaming experience, such as you might experience on YouTube. Here, it’s possible to take information that YouTube already knows about you to show you specific ads during the pre-roll and post-roll. And, since YouTube and Google search are both part of Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google), it’s possible to take some Google search data to show you an even better assortment of ads. For example, if you recently searched for “Lexus” on Google, then you might very well get served up a Lexus car ad on your next YouTube clip.

With AI, it’s possible to make even finer-grained inferences about you, based on your entire digital entertainment viewing history and which device you’re using to stream TV. There’s more data to crunch, and more information to put into a complex algorithm. The ultimate result? A TV viewing experience where ads are adjusted on the fly, based on time of day, geography and possibly even your mood.

#2: Artificial intelligence and the future of TV content

Another area where AI could make inroads involves the future of TV content. Think about the way traditional movies are made – for every hour of content you see in the cinema, there’s plenty more content that’s left on the cutting room floor. In short, human editors decide what to include and what not to include. But who says that humans are best at this? It could be the case that an AI-powered algorithm might be able to assemble a better film or TV show based on content that’s been filmed already.

As a proof of concept, 20th Century Fox teamed up with IBM Watson to create the first-ever AI-powered trailer for an AI-themed film, “Morgan.” Admittedly, it was rather gimmicky – but the idea is an intriguing one: an AI-powered algorithm might be uniquely able to figure out which scenes and which lines of dialogue should be combined into a trailer to create the biggest buzz and anticipation about the film.

In many ways, it’s no different than letting AI-powered algorithms make slideshows and short videos using your photos. Often, these slideshows are quite good, with actions in each photo matching up quite nicely with musical clips. Take that to a logical extreme, and you have the future of AI-powered content.

#3: Artificial intelligence and the future of choosing what to watch on TV

If you think about the way most people decide what to watch on TV, it’s still fairly simple – either they flip through all 100 channels as fast as they can, hoping to find something that sparks their interest, or they consult a regular TV listings guide in a nice, tidy grid format. But with new AI algorithms, it’s getting increasingly possible to predict what you want to watch, and show it to you, without you even having to choose.

In some cases, some satellite TV companies – such as DIRECTV – are working on technology that will automatically record shows for you on your DVR, all based on your past viewing preferences. The idea is simple: there are so many shows out there, that it would be nice to have a really smart companion (i.e. your AI-powered DVR) keep track of the best shows and record them for you.

And think about the Netflix recommendation algorithm. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, Netflix is becoming very good at predicting what you want to watch. There were some hiccups at the beginning – especially if several people shared the same Netflix account – but Netflix is getting better and better at figuring out your personalized viewing habits

In one creative use of AI technology, CSPAN is using Amazon’s voice recognition system to identify and mark up all content appearing on the network. An AI-powered bot is literally able to label all the content in such a way that any snippet of speech or reference can be found very easily. Nobody really wants to sit through hours of Senate hearings, right?

So it’s easy to see how this is going to be a real time-saver. Imagine, for example, you’re working on a report for a major think tank in Washington, and need to find all the times that President Trump has ever referred to “healthcare” and “Hillary Clinton” in the same speech – you would have a very easy way to skip to the good stuff, rather than wade through hours of speeches, testimony, or events. In short, CSPAN is creating a very powerful searchable video library, and it’s all made possible by AI.


#4: Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things

You may not realize it, but your TV is already hooked up to the Internet of Things, at least indirectly, in terms of objects like your set-top box or DVR. And that trend is only going to accelerate, as more companies look for ways to enter your home via the TV.

One great example is the use of voice search and voice commands to control the TV viewing experience. Every voice command can only be analyzed, thanks to sophisticated AI algorithms. A computer has to interpret the sound you make with your voice, transform those words into digital signals, analyze those signals, and then respond, all in near real-time. Thus, you can already give your TV certain commands like “Rewind 30 seconds” – and the TV will follow your instructions. You won’t have to press any buttons on a remote control, everything is handled via a voice command.

Or, consider the growing popularity of devices such as the Amazon Echo, which many people are now using to control how they watch content on TV. That’s partly because Amazon Echo is so good at finding all the content that’s possible to consume at any moment in time – not just content available on linear TV. And, with Amazon Echo, it’s now possible to do more than just find TV content, it’s also possible to do things like order a pizza during a big ballgame.

#5: Artificial intelligence and better TV video streaming

Now that we’ve reached a tipping point, where more people watch streaming TV than linear TV, the race is on to find the optimal viewing experience for all those streams coming over the Internet. One of the pioneers in this area is Netflix, which is leveraging innovative deep learning techniques to optimize your viewing experience.

There’s nothing worse than a video stream that pauses or stops during a show, and Netflix is working to correct that problem. Netflix can analyze each frame in a stream and compress it in real time in accordance with the speed of your Internet signal. If you think about this, it’s actually pretty amazing. It means that someone with a very slow, clunky Internet connection will get the same crisp, clear picture as someone with a high-end Internet connection.

#6: Artificial intelligence and new forms of TV storytelling

Netflix is also innovating with a new form of narrative TV storytelling that’s much more interactive than today’s TV. In one futuristic scenario, Netflix could give you the power to choose how a show begins and ends – or which characters will appear. In many ways, this is similar to the types of “choose your own adventures” we all enjoyed as kids.

For example, say that you’re watching a Netflix TV show, and it’s obvious that you’re getting bored by it. You could then change the outcome of the show dramatically, to make it more exciting. You might choose an ending where the hero meets an epic demise, or a beginning where the main character is a sexy, young female instead of a boring, middle-aged male. It all adds up to a new form of narrative storytelling. Just as linear TV is going the way of the dinosaur, so are linear TV plots that follow a predictable pattern.


It’s clear that AI and the future of TV are very much connected. The days of the “smart TV” are going to become the days of the “AI-powered TV.” Right now, it might sound like science fiction, but AI is all around us, even today. For example Facebook uses AI algorithms to recognize faces in photos you post online and Netflix uses AI to predict which movies you’ll want to watch. That’s just the beginning – within a very short period of time, the idea of thinking about ways to connect artificial intelligence and your living room TV will become increasingly mainstream.

Matt Damon – Actor, Producer, Screenwriter – Biography


Based on more than two decades of starring in some of the most popular films in Hollywood, it’s clear that leading man Matt Damon is now one of the biggest film celebrities in the world. Not only has he won 1 Academy Award and 2 Golden Globe Awards – he’s also one of the most bankable film stars in Hollywood. He’s the face of the hugely popular “Bourne” franchise, and he was also a key member of the ensemble cast featured in the “Ocean’s” trilogy (2001-2007).

Early life of Matt Damon

Matt Damon was born in 1970 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His Hollywood film career started off the way many acting careers do – with acting in high school theatrical productions. There’s just one difference here – one of his high school drama friends turned out to be Ben Affleck!

After high school, Matt Damon enrolled at the prestigious Ivy League university Harvard, where he continued to rack up some impressive theatrical acting gigs. For his work, he started getting noticed by big-time TV producers. For example, he had a role in the TNT original film “Rising Son.” In 1988, he also had a single line of conversation in the romantic comedy “Mystic Pizza” starring Julia Roberts. That was at age 18, but it was still a memorable start to his Hollywood career.

In 1992, in the final year at Harvard, he left school before graduating to appear in “Geronimo: An American Legend.” That film never turned out to be the hit he expected. In 1996, his next big role was the part of a drug-addicted soldier in “Courage Under Fire.” Although that part earned Matt Damon some critical acclaim, it never hinted at what was going to come next: several breakthrough Hollywood film roles that started to define Damon as a real A-list star.


Matt Damon: The makings of a Hollywood star

To some extent, you could say that Matt Damon’s inability to find “instant success” was really the fault of the film roles for which he was originally cast. Sometimes the best scripts are those that you write yourself. What happened next was Damon writing the screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” – a film that really launched both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck on the road to fame.

What’s interesting is that “Good Will Hunting” (1997) actually started as a film project that Matt Damon had originally worked on as a classroom assignment at Harvard in the early 1990s, so it was obviously a subject that was near and dear to him. The film received an impressive nine Academy Award nominations, including a “Best Actor” nomination for Matt Damon and a “Best Supporting Actor” win for co-star Robin Williams. The film went on to make $225 million worldwide from the box office.

During the period from 1997-2000, Matt Damon landed a number of other important roles. In 1998, he appeared in both “Saving Private Ryan” and “Rounders.” In 1999, he played in the film “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” And he also appeared with Ben Affleck in “Dogma” (1999). And then came two attempts at casting Matt Damon as a male lead in a romantic drama – “All the Pretty Horses” (2000) and “The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000). But it turned out to be the case that the real talents of Matt Damon were not in romantic dramas, but in epic action dramas.


Matt Damon becomes an A-list celebrity

In the period from 2001-2007, Matt Damon appeared in two of Hollywood’s most famous film franchises – the “Bourne” franchise and the “Ocean’s” franchise. You could say that was when Matt Damon officially crossed over into Hollywood stardom. He was now the leading figure in summer blockbuster films and part of a mega-royalty Hollywood ensemble cast.

It is perhaps the “Bourne” franchise that was the bigger event, since Matt Damon eventually became the face of the franchise. Moreover, it ran from 2002-2016, a fifteen-year period. It started with “The Bourne Identity” (2002), then was followed by “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004), “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007) and, a decade later, “Jason Bourne” (2016).

The “Ocean’s” trilogy was also very noteworthy. It started with the 2001 film remake from Steven Soderbergh “Ocean’s Eleven,” to be followed by “Ocean’s Twelve” (2004) and “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007).

But that wasn’t all that Matt Damon was starring in at the time. He also played alongside Robert De Niro in “The Good Shepherd” (2006). And in 2006, he appeared in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed.” By 2007, Matt Damon was officially one of the most bankable Hollywood stars, with the ability to pull in tens of millions of dollars simply by agreeing to a movie deal.


Matt Damon joins the Hollywood superstars

In hindsight, it looks like Matt Damon began to search out new types of roles after having established himself as a Hollywood leading man. In the period from 2009-2017, he has worked with many top-flight directors and appeared in many films with challenging subject material. It may all go back to his early theatrical experience – Matt Damon just wants to become the best actor possible and explore new roles rather than being typecast as only a certain type of actor.

In 2009, Matt Damon played in Steven Soderbergh’s dark comedy “The Informant,” for which Damon picked up a Golden Globe nomination. He also worked with famed actor and director Clint Eastwood on the film “Invictus,” which also starred Morgan Freeman. And then, in 2010, he teamed back up with his “Bourne” director, Paul Greengrass, on a new action-thriller, “Green Zone.” He also appeared in two other films – Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” and the Coen Brothers’ Western film “True Grit” (based on the original John Wayne film).

Then came a number of other interesting film and TV projects. For example, in 2011-2012, Matt Damon appeared in the following films: “The Adjustment Bureau,” “Contagion” and “We Bought a Zoo.” He then collaborated with Steven Soderbergh once again, this time as the gay lover and partner of the flamboyant pianist Liberace in the HBO special “Behind the Candelabra.” Talk about new roles for Matt Damon!

During the period from 2014-2017, Matt Damon explored a number of science fiction acting roles. For example, he starred in the 2013 science fiction film “Elysium.” And he starred in Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi film “The Zero Theorem” in 2013. And who can forget his 2014 role in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”? Other big movie roles for Damon during that time included George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” (2014) and the project “Years of Living Dangerously” (2014).

Then came yet another Hollywood blockbuster that people are still talking about – Ridley Scott’s “The Martian.” For his part in the 2015 film, Damon picked up an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actor” and a Golden Globe Award for “Best Actor.” That was followed up by Damon’s starring role in the film “Jason Bourne.” His big role of 2017 was “The Great Wall,” which did a lot better internationally than at the U.S. box office.

More superstardom ahead for Matt Damon

Looking ahead, there’s one more Matt Damon film project scheduled for 2017, and that’s Alexander Payne’s film “Downsizing,” which will appear during the holiday season.

And it looks like Matt Damon is going to be spending even more time and attention on being a film producer. He played a big part in helping Ben Affleck’s brother, Casey Affleck, get the role of a lifetime in “Manchester By The Sea.” And Damon has actually founded and launched his own film production company, known as LivePlanet. That company, formed with his lifelong friend Ben Affleck, has created a new documentary series called Project Greenlight.

And don’t forget about Matt Damon’s voiceover and voice acting talent! He’s voiced the role of several animated characters in films, and he’s also been the voice of several major TV commercials for famous brands like TD Ameritrade, Nespresso and United Airlines. And in 2010, Matt Damon narrated the documentary film “Inside Job.”

Matt Damon, a real humanitarian

Sometimes, a celebrity actor becomes so famous that he (or she) forgets about the all the people who need their help. That’s not the case at all with Matt Damon, who has been active in charitable and humanitarian causes since the mid-2000s. He’s perhaps best known for his work with the ONE Campaign, H20 Africa Foundation, Feeding America and ONEXONE.

Matt Damon, Hollywood celebrity

Matt Damon continues to find new artistic and creative projects that can use his talents. And, while he isn’t a fixture in the celebrity tabloids, he does guest-star and appear in TV shows all the time. In fact, there’s a long-running gag with late night TV show host Jimmy Kimmel, in which Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel pretend to get into a feud, and now that “feud” has become a subject that others actively discuss online and via social media.

It’s easy to see that Matt Damon has become a tremendously famous Hollywood celebrity. Since 2007, he has had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it’s clear why. He’s a hugely talented film star who has worked with some of the best actors, directors and actresses in the industry. And now it looks like Matt Damon’s career is going to take another amazing step forward.


Miley Cyrus: Singer, Songwriter, Actress – Biography


The super-talented and beautiful Miley Cyrus can do it all – she’s a singer, songwriter and actress who is best known for her role in the Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana” TV series. Since then, she has released several bestselling studio albums, launched three worldwide tours, and starred in movies and TV shows. She has also been a fixture in the celebrity tabloid press, thanks to her sometimes outrageous and scandalous actions on and off the stage.

Miley Cyrus is her stage name. She was actually born Destiny Hope Cyrus in 1992 in Franklin, Tennessee. She was the daughter of performing legend Billy Ray Cyrus. As a child, she was known as “Smiley,” and that nickname was later shortened to Miley. She grew up on a huge farm in Tennessee before later moving to Toronto, Canada when she was just eight.

In her first-ever role, Miley played in a small role in a TV series (“Doc”) that her father also appeared in. She also had a credited role (using her birth name) in Tim Burton’s film “Big Fish” in 2003, at the age of eleven. At that time, she began to audition for a role in “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D,” but later put off those plans for a new role that would end up changing her life dramatically.

“Hannah Montana” and early music success

That’s right – it was exactly at that time that Miley Cyrus began auditioning for the Disney Channel TV show “Hannah Montana.” While she began auditioning in 2003, the show didn’t actually premiere until 2006. When it did, though, it quickly became one of the highest-rated shows on cable TV. The show immediately became a success and Miley Cyrus became a teen idol adored by girls everywhere. She then toured with The Cheetah Girls, performing songs from the TV show’s hit first season. Disney then released a soundtrack for the character Hannah Montana, and that really launched Miley’s career.

It was time then for Miley Cyrus to release her first studio album under her own name, and not the name of Hannah Montana. She signed a four-album contract with Hollywood Records, and released a two-disc album, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus in June 2007. The release of the album was interesting – the first disc was credited to Hannah Montana, while the second disc “introduced” the music of Miley Cyrus. The album immediately went to the top of the Billboard charts, and has now sold over 3 million copies. The lead single from that album was “See You Again” (2007), which sold 2 million copies.

From there, it was time to go on tour to promote the album, and Miley launched the “Best of Both Worlds” Tour (2007-2008). At about the same time, Miley also released a 3D concert film in theaters called “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Bet of Both Worlds Concert.” Concert promoters said there was so much demand for tickets to the show, that it reminded them of The Beatles a generation earlier. It was clear that Miley had all the makings of a true superstar and plenty of eager fans.

In June 2008, Miley Cyrus followed up that success with her second studio album, Breakout. This album, too, went straight to the top of the Billboard charts. And she also had a voice actress role in the animated film “Bolt” (2008), which marked her debut on the big screen. Also starring in the film was John Travolta, so you can get a real sense of how popular Miley had become.


There were plenty of other markers of success at that time, of course. For example, there was the new 2009 Hannah Montana feature film (“Hannah Montana: The Movie”), as well as the supporting soundtrack for that film.

The lead single from her second studio album – “The Climb” – was also an immediate hit. Miley also launched a fashion line for Walmart and promoted it with one of her all-time hit songs, “Party in the U.S.A..” She also released the EP The Time of Our Lives in 2009. From there, it was time to embark on a new world tour, called “The Wonder World Tour.” That tour in 2009 was so successful that she even performed for Queen Elizabeth II and members of the British Royal Family.

A new version of Miley Cyrus

What could Miley Cyrus possibly do as a follow-up to all this success?  The answer is that Miley Cyrus decided to reinvent herself. She was only 17 years old, and she was looking to become known as a real adult performing artist, instead of just being known as a young Hannah Montana. And, as you might expect, that involved some risks.

Her next studio album was Can’t Be Tamed (2010), and as you can tell from the title, it was meant to present a more grown-up Miley Cyrus. It was also more dance-oriented, rather than being a blend of pop and country. But the album was not a commercial success, and many of her fans were turned off by the lyrics in the songs. In fact, the second single released for the album was released only in Europe due to all the controversy.

Even worse, photos and videos of Cyrus continued to circulate online, in which she appeared to be doing things like smoking marijuana. She launched another world tour, but there were no North American concert dates on the tour. Moreover, she officially closed down her recording contract as Hannah Montana. From here on out, it was going to be a very different Miley Cyrus.

And from 2010 to 2012, Miley Cyrus seemed to be drifting from one creative project to another. She hung out with other celebrities, appeared on TV shows like “Saturday Night Live,” starred in films (“The Last Song”) and generally became as famous for her controversial image as for her music. She even put off plans for her fourth studio album.


The re-emergence of Miley Cyrus the superstar

But in 2013, everything changed once again for Miley Cyrus. She released her fourth studio album, Bangerz, with RCA Records, her new label. The first single from that album was “We Can’t Stop,” and it was a huge smash. The second single – “Wrecking Ball” – was even bigger. It became her third studio album to go straight to #1. Miley Cyrus was back!

There were a number of factors responsible for the success of that new album. One of them was her new manager, Larry Rudolph, who had also helped to propel Britney Spears to fame. And secondly, Miley Cyrus began working with hip-hop, rap and R&B artists to give her music a new sound. For example, she collaborated with Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg,, and Wiz Khalifa.

And, of course, there was all the celebrity controversy swirling around Miley Cyrus. The peak of that controversy was the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, when she performed with Robin Thicke on stage. From then on, she was a fixture in the celebrity tabloids.

From 2013 to 2016, Miley Cyrus was seemingly everywhere. She collaborated with a  number of top artists, released new songs, got involved romantically with new celebrities, and had cameo roles in films. She also released her fifth studio album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, as a free streaming collection online. It was new, edgy, experimental and somewhat psychedelic.


More superstardom ahead

In 2016, Miley Cyrus began to pave the way for her sixth studio album. When she wasn’t recording music, she was appearing in film and TV projects. For example, she was a coach during the 10th season of the reality TV show “The Voice,” and was later named as a judge for the show’s 11th season, replacing Gwen Stefani.  Her TV projects included a show, “Crisis in Six Scenes,” that she worked on with Woody Allen for Amazon Studios.

In 2016, she also became engaged to Liam Hemsworth, a long-time romantic interest of hers. For fans of Miley Cyrus, though, the most interest surrounded her new studio album. And she finally gave fans a preview of what to expect in May 2017, when she released the album’s first single, “Malibu.”

And, while many people still associate Miley Cyrus with some of her most controversial moments – especially the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance – she has also been working to build her reputation as both an activist and a philanthropist. She has sung on charity singles, appeared at hospitals to visit sick fans, and helped to raise money for victims of natural disasters. She has also worked to raise the profile surrounding issues such as homelessness.

All in all, Miley Cyrus has skyrocketed to stardom within a very short period of time. She is still not even 25 years old, but we’ve been seeing her on stage for more than a decade! Her lifetime earnings are speculated to be close to $350 million, and in 2017, experts estimated her net worth to be $200 million. Her secret formula seems to be a great voice, a unique stage presence, and a willingness to create controversy. She has certainly become one of the America’s top-selling singing sensations within a very short period of time!

Meet Dwayne Johnson, One of the Most Famous Entertainers in the World

One of the most popular celebrities in the world right now is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is easily the most famous professional wrestler of our current generation. And now he has leveraged that celebrity and notoriety to become one of the most bankable celebrity actors in Hollywood, famous for his starring roles in blockbuster summer films.

What’s fascinating about Dwayne Johnson is that he actually hails from a family of professional wrestlers. Both his father and grandfather were professional wrestlers and his mother was related to a famous wrestling family.

Thus, when Dwayne Johnson made his debut with the World Wrestling Federation back in 1996, he was initially billed as the first three-generation professional wrestler. At that time, he was known by the ring name Rocky Maivia, which was a combination of his father and grandfather’s ring names.
Meteoric success as a professional wrestler

From his opening debut with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Johnson became one of the most recognizable professional wrestlers. After a period in 1996-1997, in which he was known as Rocky Maivia, Johnson reinvented himself as The Rock.

Along the way, he took on a bigger-than-life personality and engaged in numerous feuds with other star wrestlers. From 1997-1998, he was part of a group of wrestlers known as the Nation of Dominance, and from 1998-1999, he was part of The Corporation.

It was at this time that Johnson as “The Rock” really took off. He was entertaining on and off the camera, and loved to insult his rivals. And he joined up with Vince McMahon, becoming one of the most heavily hyped and promoted professional wrestlers in the WWF.

He became a pay-per-view wrestling star, and someone who was constantly the subject of wrestling’s biggest feuds and events, such as WrestleMania and Royal Rumble. From 1999-2002, he became “The People’s Champion,” and that led to more championships and a number of legendary feuds, such as a long-lasting feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho and other top wrestling stars.

A wrestling superstar

After 2002, the WWF rebranded as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and, arguably, that’s when The Rock became even more famous, crossing over into more of the mainstream pop culture. Huge events like WrestleMania became a chance for Johnson to really solidify his star ranking among entertainers. And, in fact, Johnson is typically credited for bringing terms like “smackdown” into the daily lexicon of many Americans.

In 2011, The Rock made his return to WWE, mostly because of a new feud with John Cena that made national headlines. When The Rock wasn’t competing in the wrestling ring, he was making promos and insulting other wrestlers.

That was really the point where people began talking about The Rock as the greatest wrestler of all time. For many, The Rock had become as famous as Hulk Hogan.

In 2012-2013, the story was really how The Rock became the new WWE champion, cementing his status as one of the greatest professional wrestlers ever. At the end of 2013, The Rock had all but retired – but continued to show up as part of WWE events and promotional shows for professional wrestling.

Pop icon status

It’s impossible to overstate how much Dwayne Johnson has crossed over into the pop culture mainstream as the result of his wrestling success. Starting in 1999, Johnson started to show up on the all “Top 10 Celebrities” lists. He lined up special hosting gigs on shows like “Saturday Night Live.”

And mainstream media outlets like VHI and People magazine regularly featured him. He appeared on the front covers of magazines like Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly.

That eventually paved the way for Dwayne Johnson to get his debut in Hollywood. His first appearance in a major film was a cameo role in “The Mummy Returns.” But that led to his first starring role, in “The Scorpion King,” in 2002, for which he was paid an unprecedented $5.5 million. At that time, it was the highest amount of money paid to an actor in his (or her) first starring role. So you can begin to grasp the true star power of The Rock.

A new kind of Hollywood film star

In fact, for many younger Americans, The Rock is a Hollywood film star first and foremost. They may only know a few passing details about his status as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.

In the ten-year period from 2002 (when he debuted with “The Scorpion King”), Johnson appeared in a number of films, including “The Rundown” (2003), “Walking Tall” (2004), “Be Cool” (2005), “Doom” (2006), “Reno 911!: Miami” (2007), “Southland Tales” (2007), “The Game Plan” (2007), “Get Smart” (2008) and “Tooth Fairy” (2010).

The big moment for Johnson came when he got a starring role in “Fast Five,” the fifth film in the “Fast and the Furious” film franchise. In that film, he played the role of DSS agent Luke Hobbs, who is given the role of hunting down the members of the “Fast and the Furious” crew.

That role then led to Johnson appearing in a number of other big-name Hollywood films, including a G.I. Joe film in 2013. He also appeared in “Fast & Furious 6.” Other film roles soon followed, such as “Pain & Gain” (2013) and “Empire State” (2013). In 2016, Johnson appeared in “Central Intelligence” with the comedian Kevin Hart.

He also had a voice role in the Disney smash film of the summer, “Moana.” And, of course, he returned in the seventh “Fast and the Furious” film (“The Fate of the Furious”) in 2017. He will also be appearing in the hotly anticipated 2017 film “Baywatch.”

Future success ahead

It looks like Johnson is going to continue taking on bigger and bigger roles within Hollywood. He is now in pre-production for a sequel to “San Andreas” (2015) as well as a star role as Black Adam in an upcoming DC Entertainment superhero film about Shazam. There’s also talk of a new Disney theme park attraction based on one of Johnson’s characters in the upcoming “Jungle Cruise” film.

There’s work now being done on Under Armour fitness gear bearing Johnson’s name. And, of course, there has been the inevitable talk of spin-offs to the mega-successful “Fast and the Furious” franchise.

In short, we may be seeing the next big iteration in Johnson’s more than 20-year career as a professional entertainer. He’s already proven that he could become the greatest professional wrestler of his era.

Now he’s on a trajectory to become one of the highest-paid and most-famous actors of his generation. If his new film projects with DC Entertainment and Disney are as big as everyone expects, it’s easy to see how Johnson will have solidified his role as one of Hollywood’s greatest A-list actors.