WWE’s Randy Orton to Star in ‘The Condemned 2’ (EXCLUSIVE)

WWE Studios is adding “The Condemned” to its roster of film franchises, with the company tapping Randy Orton to star in “The Condemned 2: Desert Prey,” that Lionsgate will co-produce and distribute.

Roel Reine (“Death Race: Inferno,” “The Scorpion 3”) will direct the actioner from a script by Alan McElroy (“The Marine 4”).

Film follows a former bounty hunter who finds himself on the run as part of a revamped Condemned tournament, in which convicts are forced to fight each other to the death as part of a game that’s broadcast to the public.

Orton, one of WWE’s top stars, reunites with Reine on “The Condemned” sequel after having previously worked together on “12 Rounds 2: Reloaded.”

“The Condemned 2” will start production in New Mexico later this year.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin starred in the original, which Lionsgate released in 2007. The film generated $8 million at the box office but went on to perform well on homevideo platforms. “The Condemned 2” will likely get its primary release on VOD and other home entertainment platforms.

WWE will promote the film across its various TV shows, online platforms and streaming network.

“We are excited to be reteaming with the WWE on ‘The Condemned 2,’ after such a positive experience on the original film,” said Lionsgate co-chief operating officer and motion picture group president Steve Beeks. “The combination of their brand marketing capabilities, creativity and deep lineup of dynamic onscreen talent result in a powerful partnership.”

In May, WWE Studios and Lionsgate announced a deal to produce six lower budgeted action films that would serve as starring vehicles for WWE’s athletes, while helping incubate new talent.

The first two projects under that deal are the Soska Sisters’ “Vendetta,” starring Paul “the Big Show” Wright,” and Stephen Reynolds’ “Lockdown,” with Dean Ambrose. The two ompanies also had co-produced “See No Evil” and this year’s “Leprechaun: Origins.”

Based in Santa Monica, Calif. and run by Michael Luisi, WWE Studios has been on a roll of late, with the recent horror film “Oculus,” a $5 million co-production with Blumhouse Prods and Relativity Media, that went on to earn $44 million worldwide. An animated “WrestleMania” themed “Scooby-Doo” racked up strong sales on homevideo, while “Leprechaun: Origins” is reviving that franchise with WWE’s Hornswoggle, and “See No Evil 2” is hitting homevideo.

WWE Studios’ other credits include Halle Berry thriller “The Call” and Colin Farrell’s “Dead Man Down,” while it is on board Universal’s “Term Life,” with Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Hailee Steinfeld; Blumhouse’s “Incarnate,” with Aaron Eckhart; “The Flintstones and WWE Stone Age Smack Down;” and “Jingle All the Way 2,” starring Larry the Cable Guy and WWE’s Santino Marella through Fox Home Entertainment.

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