Dwayne Johnson has been one of the most popular actors in the world for years now. Long has there been chatter about his latest movie, Black Adam, rivaling Avatar: The Way of Water when both movies came out, but the rivalry is no rivalry at all after Black Adam’s major flop. But could Dwayne Johnson still be in the green? Is The Rock really in Avatar 2 as well?
Rumors online suggested that Dwayne Johnson played the role of Tonowari in Avatar: The Way of Water. However, it was only a sarcastic, funny remark on the uncanny resemblance of The Rock and Tonowari, mostly because of their similar Maori tattoos.
So, Dwayne Johnson isn’t really in Avatar 2, but seeing how good the film is doing in box office numbers compared to Black Adam, I’m sure he wishes he was actually Tonowari. But who is Tonowari, anyways? Who actually portrays him, and why do people think it’s Dwayne Johnson? Keep reading to find out.
Who is Tonowari in Avatar 2?
Tonowari is a new character in the Avatar franchise that appeared in Avatar: The Way of Water. He is the Olo’eyktan, or the leader of the Metkayina clan of the Na’vi, the clan living at the seaside and living mostly off of the sea, much like the Omaticaya clan lived off of the jungle.
Tonowari is the mate of Ronal, the father of Tsireya, Ao’nung, and an unborn third child. Jake Sully and his clan came to Tonowari and the Metkayina clan to seek refuge and shelter after the RDA returned to destroy them.
Tonowari accepted Jake’s plea and offered to train them and teach them how to adapt to the way of the Metkayina. However, he wanted no part in the battle against the RDA, saying to Jake that he ‘cannot let you bring the war here.’
That also changed after the RDA threatened his family as well, and Tonowari decided to join the fight to save them. Afterward, he and the Metkayina clan accepted Jake and his family as one of their own.
Tonowari is a fierce, proud, and prolific warrior, as well as a wise democratic leader of his clan. He is kind and overall good, providing help and shelter even when the situation is dire for him.
As for his appearance, Tonowari is big, bulky, and covered in Maori-looking tattoos. They look a lot like the signature tattoos of Dwayne The Rock Johnson. So, is it actually him that plays Tonowari?
Is Dwayne The Rock Johnson in Avatar 2?
As we mentioned, Tonowari – the leader of the Metkayina clan in Avatar: The Way of Water – is covered in tattoos that look a lot like the tattoos that Dwayne The Rock Johnson showcases proudly. That led to some fans thinking it might actually be The Rock portraying Tonowari.
While some fans actually believed it was Dwayne, most of them were being sarcastic about the uncanny similarities in appearance between The Rock and Tonowari due to their bulk and their tattoos.
So, no – Dwayne The Rock Johnson is not actually in Avatar 2 – the character of Tonowari might look like him a bit, but he’s actually portrayed by a completely different actor.
That being said, Avatar is approaching $1 billion in box office numbers and took only a few days to surpass The Rock’s highly-anticipated, hyped-up Black Adam, which flopped dramatically despite Dwayne’s best efforts to promote the film over the course of several years.
I bet The Rock would love it if the rumors and sarcastic remarks were actually true and that he took on the role of Tonowari.
Who actually plays Tonowari in Avatar 2?
Although it’s not The Rock, another familiar face is actually behind the character of Tonowari. The actor portraying the Metkayina clan leader is Cliff Curtis, known for several epic roles throughout the past two decades.
I remember him from Training Day (2001) with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, but some of his other prominent roles include Three Kings (1999), Live Free or Die Hard (2007), The Dark Horse (2014), and Doctor Sleep (2019). To be honest, I can’t think of a role where Curtis wasn’t absolutely phenomenal.
As for his background, Cliff Curtis hails from New Zealand, where he was born in 1968. He is actually of Maori descent, so the tattoo connection fits just perfectly. Fans have high praise for Curtis after his portrayal of Tonowari, and I have to join the praises because he was by far my favorite character in the film.