Village Roadshow Pictures and New Line Cinema are co-producing San Andreas, a 3D thriller which follows the aftermath of a massive earthquake which devastates parts of California.

Dwayne Johnson is set to play the protagonist, a helicopter pilot who embarks on a treacherous journey to search for his missing daughter, from whom he is estranged. reports that New Line views the project as having the potential for a franchise.

Brad Peyton, who collaborated with Johnson on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, is attached to direct. Shooting is due to start next April at the Village Roadshow Studios and on locations in Queensland on a budget reported to be around $100 million.

IF understands the producers, the Flynn Picture Co., have secured a chunk of the $20 million incentive for offshore production announced earlier this year by the Labor government.

Arts Minister George Brandis was quick to claim some of the credit for bringing San Andreas to Australia. "The Australian Screen Production Incentive that I introduced in 2007 has proved to be a highly successful stimulant for investment in Australian productions and has served to attract and secure a number of major international films to Australia," he said.

“I want to continue to make sure there is a strong return on the Government’s incentives for the screen industry. It makes an important contribution to the Australian economy generating jobs in front of the camera, behind the scenes and beyond."

The other two films that are getting a piece of that $20 million are believed to be Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, now filming in Tamworth, and The Moon and the Sun, a fantasy adventure feature film starring Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy, and Fan Bing Bing, directed by Sean McNamara, which is due to shoot at the Docklands studios next year.

“International feature films in development and production are expected to inject $170 million directly into the Australian economy and will generate more than 2000 jobs for Australian cast and crew," Brandis added.

San Andreas is also benefiting from Queensland's Production Incentive Scheme and payroll tax rebate. The latest draft of the screenplay is by The Conjuring scribes Carey Hayes and Chad Hayes. Earlier drafts were penned by Allan Loeb (Rock of Ages, The Dilemma) and Carlton Cuse (TV’s Lost).

Beau Flynn is producing with Hiram Garcia and Tripp Vinson. Roadshow has dated the film for June 4 2015, a day before the US launch.

Johnson has just finished shooting Brett Ratner’s Hercules for MGM and Paramount, produced by Flynn, and will next appear in James Wan’s Fast & Furious 7.