Past with Marine Corps poses problem

WWE has pulled Randy Orton as the star of it direct-to-homevid actioner “The Marine: Homefront” after determining that his troubled past with the United States Marine Corps would pose a problem.

“WWE demonstrated poor judgment in signing Randy Orton for the third installment of the film ‘The Marine,'” WWE said in a statement. “Despite Randy’s popularity, the fact that he was dishonorably discharged from the USMC made it inappropriate for him to be cast in this film. He will no longer have a role in the film.”

WWE has had close ties to the military, especially the National Guard, which sponsors its events, and travels overseas to entertain the troops. It also produces an annual “Tribute to the Troops” special that airs on NBC.

Production is still set to start this summer in Vancouver. Scott Wiper (“The Condemned”) is in talks to direct. WWE Studios is producing the pic with Fox Home Entertainment.

Orton’s past with the Marines hadn’t been a secret. It even was part of his character when he started with WWE, in 2000, and was mentioned on WWE’s past show “Confidential,” hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund.

But WWE was forced to recast Orton’s role when reports of his dishonorable discharge from the Marines were brought to light again. Orton served 38 days in a military prison after he was court martialed for disobeying the orders of a commanding officer and going AWOL on two occasions. A fellow Marine gave the details of the discharge to TMZ, which first reported the story.

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