World Wrestling Entertainment star Mick Foley — best known as “Mankind,” the wrestler who would enter the ring wearing a straitjacket and muzzle — is close to partnering with scribe Teddy Tenenbaum to develop an action hour at CBS.
Foley, who’s also a bestselling author (“Have a Nice Day”), would play a detective in the Tampa Police Dept. who’s just as ruthless as the criminals he hunts down. Foley’s participation is set up pending a read at the network.
CBS Prods. is behind the project, along with WWE. Besides Tenenbaum, the wrestling org’s Vince and Linda McMahon, Joel Simon and Jed Blaugrund are attached.
Foley retired from active wrestling in 2000 but kept his ties with the WWE; he’s known as one of the most injured wrestlers in the business. Should the project go to series, it’s likely Foley would do all of his own stunts.
Tenenbaum said he’d even like to end each episode with a blooper reel (a la Jackie Chan films).
“Mick’s signature is his willingness to take incredible amounts of pain,” Tenenbaum said. “He rolls through thumbtacks, gets beaten up by barbed wire, falls through chain link fences, and yet he’s also well-spoken. He’s this big, hairy guy, but he’s approachable, friendly and charming.”
WWE pitched the project as an old-fashioned, “Rockford Files”-style pure actioner with a dose of comedy. Simon, who serves as WWE Films prexy, said he believed Foley had the acting chops to cross over from the ring, much as Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson did before him.
“If you watch our guys in the ring, it’s amazing what they can do,” he said. “They ad lib, they do it in one take, they do their own stunts. (WWE topper) Vince (McMahon) feels that we have the next action stars.”
Tenenbaum said he also believed Foley could easily appeal to non-wrestling fans as well.
“I would have to say I’m not a big fan of pro wrestling, which is the irony of this,” he said. “But what’s so appealing about Mick Foley is he will automatically attract the millions of WWE viewers, and he will charm people who have no interest in wrestling.”
Foley first joined WWE in 1996, having previously performed for World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling. Besides “Mankind,” he also wrestled under the names “Cactus Jack” and “Dude Love.”
Foley recently published his first novel, “Tietam Brown.”
Tenenbaum, who’s repped by Paradigm, also has the script “Demonologist” set up at NBC. That drama revolves around real-life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren and comes from NBC Studios and Clive Barker’s Seraphim Films. Barker and Jim Wedaa exec produce.
Scribe’s other credits include “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death” and series “The Dead Zone.”