EXCLUSIVE: WWE Studios and Lionsgate have renewed their partnership with a six-picture deal to produce a new sextet of action pics, starting with Vendetta from twin-sister directing duo Jen and Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker In A Trunk). The Soska Twins previously combined on horror pic American Mary and directed See No Evil 2 starring WWE’s Kane for WWE Studios and Lionsgate. Vendetta, written by Justin Shady, tracks a hard-nosed detective who deliberately commits a crime to get sent to prison, where he seeks vengeance on the crook serving a life sentence for murdering the detective’s wife. The WWE/Lionsgate “Action six-pack” will serve as a platform for WWE Superstar wrestling personalities transitioning into acting while enlisting emerging filmmaking talent behind the camera.
Vendetta will star WWE superstar Big Show (aka Paul Wight), who’s appeared in such films as The Waterboy and MacGruber and on TV series Star Trek: Enterprise, Royal Pains, and Burn Notice. He also starred in WWE Studios pic Knucklehead in 2010. Lensing on Vendetta is slated for this summer, with the next film in the six-title pact set to film in the fall.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Michael and his WWE team on a series of modestly budgeted action films that extend our longstanding and successful partnership,” said Lionsgate Co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. “We have a strong track record in this genre, and we’re delighted to team with the WWE juggernaut to deliver action-packed event films that will resonate with their global fan base and beyond.” The production partnership between WWE Studios and Lionsgate has yielded The Condemned, See No Evil, and upcoming Leprechaun: Origins and the Soskas’ See No Evil 2. WWE Studios’ Bradley Buchanan negotiated the deal with Lionsgate’s Wendy Jaffe. The Soskas are repped by APA, Zero Gravity, and Joel VanderKloot.