It’s that time of year ladies and gentlemen. School is out (or just about to be), the best TV Shows are about to wrap up their seasons (except Dexter which starts its new season shortly) and people’s free time has expanded exponentially. It’s Blockbuster Season folks! With Man Of Steel, World War Z, and Pacific Rim among some of the projected summer blockbusters to be released this summer, I found myself thinking about the WWE, as it pertains to their involvement in the film industry with their Los Angeles based subsidiary, WWE Studios.
WWE Studios was founded in 2002, as a way for the WWE to develop and produce film projects for its Superstars. I can honestly see how this was considered a risky by potentially fruitful investment for the WWE to make. Movies are a huge part of many cultures and in some cases can be a license to print money. Seeing that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become one of Hollywood’s biggest box office draws, it isn’t too hard to expect that somebody on the WWE roster would be charismatic enough to carry a film and draw at least half of what The Rock can. Unfortunately that simply hasn’t been the case.
Going by the results, The Call featuring WWE Superstar David Otunga is by far their most successful project (Grossing $51.8 Million Domestically) and more than doubled the gross earnings of The Marine ($18.8 Domestically), which stars this era’s most marketable WWE Superstar, John Cena. I understand that the WWE is not a film juggernaut like Universal or 20th Century Fox, or Disney, but they have put quite a bit of money into these films and have seen minimal returns, both monetarily and critically.
This week, I though I’d have a little fun and throw out a few Superstars that I think could carry (or at least help carry) a WWE Studios Production. I will throw out a name and describe what genre of film would best suit their specific talents. I’m not a Hollywood exec, but I’m hoping at least one of these ideas would do better at the box office than a suspense thriller featuring the highest grossing WWE Studios Superstar of all time, David Otunga. Let’s Do This.
This is a no brainer for me, as she is easily one of the most captivating female performers in the entire company. She gives great performance no matter the quality of the segments she is given to perform in, she seems dedicated to her role and intent on improving on a weekly basis, and she’s just about the most adorable Diva on the main roster.
As easy as it was to pick her out of the multitude of Superstars and Divas to start in a WWE Studios Film, it might be even easier to assign a genre that would suit her perfectly. That genre is without question Horror. She is absolutely perfect for the role of the main female protagonist in a horror film. She is young, looks unassuming and cute, but can kick ass when confronted with death at the end. She could also play the main antagonist in a horror film if you wanted to do something outside the box. Maybe have her play a crazy jilted ex-girlfriend who crashes her old boyfriend’s wedding, and makes the Red Wedding look like a stroll through Disneyland (I mean we do know she can play crazy).
More importantly horror films are easily the best investments to make in the film industry. Horror films generally don’t require large budgets and have a dedicated fan base that will go in droves out to see anything in the genre. If you can keep your budget under $5 Million, which is more than do-able, you are looking at making a profit off the film rather easily. All in all, I think AJ would do great in a horror film, and WWE would easily make their money back, and then some.
Edge and Christian
There have been very few duos in WWE History that had as much chemistry with one another as Edge and Christian. This pair of life long friends entertained us for the better part of a decade, whether it be as a 5-second posing, con-chair-toing team, or as singles competitors. Fans of the duo will never get the privilege of seeing Edge and Christian back in the ring together due to Edge’s neck issues, but I for one would definitely like to see the pair bring their comedic charisma to the silver screen, and kick ass in a movie as an alternative.
I definitely think these two best friends could easily carry an action comedy. The synopsis would read something like:
Brothers, and charismatic con men (Played by Edge and Christian) bite off more than they can chew when they acquire a seemingly innocuous heirloom in one of their scam. Forced on the run by dangerous men who are willing to kill for what they’ve procured, the brothers must uncover the mystery behind their most recent acquisition and stop it from getting into the wrong hands.
I’m not sure about you guys, but I feel like that action comedy has a lot more promise than The Chaperone. The fact is, much like Horror, Action films have a rabid and dedicated fan base that go out and see almost every action flick that hits their local cinema, and while it is much harder to keep budgets low making an action movie, you have a pretty good shot of at least making your budget back based on smart advertising and some good word of mouth. An action-adventure/comedy starring Edge and Christian would definitely garner the interest of WWE fans and has a good shot of putting butts in seats, because you won’t see those two team up in a WWE ring ever again. It’s worth the investment if you ask me, and I’d be willing to bet that it would make a profit if the budget didn’t balloon to preposterous proportions.
The Rock and Stone Cold
This might be a bit of a pipe dream, but I’d love to see The Rock and Stone Cold team up to make a movie. The WWE couldn’t afford to do something this big on their own (at least I don’t think so) and they’d need help from a bigger studio to co-produce a film like this, but with The Rock’s cache in Hollywood as a box office draw, and the novelty of having Stone Cold and The Rock working together, this could be one of those films with a license to print money.
I see it as a classic buddy cop flick. The Rock is the big city, Hollywood cop; Stone Cold is the Southern, country cop. They are forced to be partners, and they don’t get along. Comedic hijinks ensue as they set out to stomp out crime, and learn to work together. Think the first few minutes of The Other Guys, but with Stone Cold instead of Samuel L. Jackson. I want it to be that action packed, that absolutely ridiculous, and that funny. Hell if it makes it easier to get done, just make it a prequel to The Other Guys called “The Guys” and cast Stone Cold as the Villain. Hollywood is sitting on a goldmine with this.
The fact of the matter is that this would need to be a co-production because I don’t think The Rock would do your average WWE Film. That being said, the WWE would be lucky to invest a little money into The Rock’s acting career through their studio if given the opportunity. He is the most transcendent entity that they’ve ever had under contract and it would be great to get a payday not only from his wrestling appearances, but also from one of his generally high grossing action flicks. It’s also a great way to show the fans that Stone Cold is still part of the family and you’re working with him even though his wrestling days are through. WWE Studios won’t find a better investment to make for a long time, so if there were a way to facilitate something like this, I’d be all in.
Those are the main three, but here are a few more general ideas:
- Dolph Ziggler as the bad boyfriend in a Romantic Comedy would work.
- Santino in a classic screwball comedy.
- Antonio Cesaro as the foreign, diabolical villain in a very Die Hard-esque action flick.
There you have it, but as always I want to hear what you think. Would you see any of these hypothetical films if they were released? Which would have you most excited? What kind of ideas do you have for Superstars in WWE Studios Films? Could the WWE use their films to introduce new characters from developmental to the main roster (just a thought)?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying two more wins and we’re champions! Drive to Five! Go Spurs Go!