Film first of three-pic homevid deal with Fox

WWE is rounding up the troops for its third installment of “The Marine” franchise, tapping Randy Orton to star, while Scott Wiper (“The Condemned”) is in early talks to direct “The Marine: Homefront.”

The actioner, designed as a standalone pic, is the first of three straight-to-homevideo titles that WWE Studios will produce with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment through a deal brokered in February.

WWE will start promoting the pic during the “WrestleMania Axxess” fan event this weekend at the Miami Dade Convention Center before “WrestleMania” takes place Sunday at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium. “WrestleMania” will be headlined by the match between Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and John Cena.

WWE will enable fans to read for a walk-on part in “The Marine: Homefront.”

Orton, one of WWE’s biggest names, will portray a Marine forced to put his skills to the test when a radical militia group kidnaps his rebellious daughter. The soldier does what’s necessary to save his daughter and to stop a terrorist attack.

Production starts June 11 in Vancouver.

Wiper, who has only recently been approached with “Homefront,” wrote and exec produced Summit’s actioner “The Cold Light of Day,” starring Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver and set for release in September. He also directed Lionsgate’s “The Condemned,” which starred WWE alum “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and was co-produced by WWE in 2007.

Orton previously had a small role in WWE Studios’ drama “That’s What I Am,” which starred Ed Harris and received a limited theatrical release last year.

The first “Marine,” starring WWE’s John Cena, was released theatrically by Fox in 2006. Pic earned $22 million worldwide — enough to warrant a direct-to-homevid follow-up starring WWE’s Ted DiBiase Jr. in 2009.

Fox will distribute “The Marine: Homefront” worldwide on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD and as a digital download, with WWE set to promote the film across its various platforms. Pic will also eventually unspool on the company’s WWE Network, set to launch sometime later this year.

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