The wresting world has not exactly been too successful when it comes to movie making and leading roles, of course The Rock aside.
Think back to Mr. Nanny and Santa with Muscles starring Hulk Hogan, yeah can’t tell yah much about ’em because they just weren’t good. Vince McMahon, Chairman, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. said the failures until now were because he wasn’t involved in helping guide those wrestlers.
Well, Vince McMahon is forcing himself back in the news with his idea of WWE Films, which was first introduced to the world back on July 22, 2004 in this article where he announced a film titled The Marine in which John “Doctor of Thuganomics” Cena is set to take the title role as an injured Marine who returns from the war to find his girlfriend inadvertently caught up in a kidnapping.
Apparently that film is heading to 20th Century Fox, however the big news surrounds the one-time wrestling heavy Stone Cold Steve Austin, who is set to have a small role in the upcoming Adam Sandler comedy The Longest Yard as well as his own starring vehicle for WWE Films titled The Condemned.
The Condemned, written by Rob and Andrew Hedden, deals with a cop on death-row who is given a second chance when chosen to compete on a deadly reality show. Pursued by ruthless killers, his survival and the key to his freedom depend on him surviving long enough to take down the one person responsible for putting him behind bars.
McMahon states, “Having successfully submerged itself in the world of television and generated a host of superstar talent, WWE is ideally positioned to bring its unique and powerful cultural sensibility to the motion picture industry. I am extremely excited about showcasing the talents of Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena and Kane; as well I truly believe these and other WWE Superstars will achieve new artistic and commercial successes on the big screen.”
Aside from the Stone Cold Steve Austin deal, WWE Films, will produce and fully finance another two to four films a year.
The Marine is currently in post-production in Los Angeles after wrapping production on location in Queensland, Australia. Along with Cena the film also stars Robert Patrick (Terminator 2, Ladder 49) and Kelly Carlson (“Nip/Tuck”) and is directed by commercial helmer John Bonito.
WWE Films is also in post-production on the tentatively titled Goodnight, starring WWE RAW Superstar Kane, also making his motion picture debut. The film is described as an intense horror movie with a unique and unusual setting.
“We’ve created the classic bad guy, the classic monster,” Simon states. “We’re trying to create a villain franchise in the vein of Jason, Freddie and Pinhead.” The film is written by Dan Madigan and Harris Levine Wilkinson and directed by Gregory Dark. The film is executive produced by Vince McMahon and produced by Joel Simon. WWE has completed a deal with Lions Gate to distribute Goodnight theatrically.
The Marine and Goodnight were produced with the assistance of Queensland’s Pacific Film & Television Commission. Village Roadshow Production Management handled production services on both films. Release dates for all of the films are not yet known.