Renny Harlin Goes 12 Rounds with John Cena

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World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is stepping into the film production ring with Fox Atomic for 12 Rounds, tapping Renny Harlin to direct the action film set to star grappler John Cena, Steve Harris, Aidan Gillen and Brian White.

According to Variety, the story centers on a New Orleans police detective (Cena) whose girlfriend is kidnapped. Harlin will direct the $20 million pic from a script by Daniel Kunka.

Production starts Feb. 25 in New Orleans. It’s WWE’s first project to film in the U.S., with previous pics shot in Australia.

Mark Gordon, Josh McLaughlin and WWE Films’ president Michael Lake are producing. WWE topper Vince McMahon serves as executive producer with Becki Trujillo.

WWE Films’ credits include Cena starrer The Marine, See No Evil and The Condemned.

Harris (“The Practice”) plays an FBI agent and Gillen is taking the kidnapper role.

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