Dwayne Johnson's 'Empire State' Recounts Massive U.S. Heist

Dwayne Johnson's 'Empire State' Recounts Massive U.S. Heist

Dwayne Johnson has had a busy 2013 yet apparently still found the time to hit the gym–hard.

The muscle-bound actor appeared in Snitch, Fast and Furious 6, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Pain and Gain, not to mention his ring appearances with some old WWE pals. He also filmed a reality show for TNT called The Hero.

Johnson received far less attention for another project on his 2013 slate. Empire State, a film heading to home video Sept. 3, co-stars rising young stars Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) and Emma Roberts (We’re the Millers). Empire State tells the true story of one of the largest, and most improbable, cash heists in U.S. history. Hemsworth plays a frustrated security guard whose life changes when he reveals the company’s slack security protocols to a chum. Johnson plays the NYPD detective out to solve the crime.

The following clip, exclusive to Big Hollywood, examines elements from the actual case and how they worked their way into the feature.

The film debuts via Video on Demand Aug. 30, but the home video release includes behind-the-scenes material including interviews with the man behind the heist.

It’s hard to imagine why Empire State didn’t get a flashy theatrical release given the cast and subject matter alone. Johnson isn’t the only big name actor to have films bypass theatrical release or only get a token theatrical release. Oscar winners like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker also have appeared in films in recent years that missed their theatrical windows. In other cases, quality product like The Cabin in the Woods have languished on the proverbial shelf for years before getting released.

Audiences will soon see for themselves if Empire State deserved to skip theaters, or if it’s another case of the system treating quality content unkindly.