Lionsgate grips WWE drama

'Condemned' to star Austin, Jones

World Wrestling Entertainment has made a deal with Lionsgate to distribute drama “The Condemned,” to star Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vinnie Jones, with Scott Wiper directing.

Austin will play a man on death row in a corrupt Central American prison. He’s “purchased” by a wealthy TV producer, who pits him and nine other condemned men in a battle to the death.

Wiper rewrote a script by Rob and Andrew Hedden, with Simon producing and McMahon exec producing with Michael Lake. Jed Blaugrund is co-exec producer.

Vince McMahon formed WWE Films and named Joel Simon to run it, with a plan to craft vehicles for its wrestling stars and fully finance production as long as a distribution deal is in place.

“Condemned” marks the third picture project for WWE and its second alignment with Lionsgate.

The distributor has set a May 19 release date for “See No Evil,” a horror film that stars WWE grappler Kane. WWE’s first film is “The Marine,” a drama starring wrestler John Cena that 20th Century Fox will release on Sept. 8.

“The Condemned,” which begins shooting May 15 in Australia, marks the third film to be shot at Warner Roadshow Studios in Australia.

Long a WWE staple, Austin is taking his first starring role after appearing in the remake of “The Longest Yard.” Jones, a former English soccer star, just completed “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

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