WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin will return for “The Marine 4,” after starring in the third outing last year. Should the film, which will also feature WWE Diva Summer Rae, prove a popular seller, the film could give Mizanin his first film franchise. Mizanin headlined the ABC Family comedy “Christmas Bounty” over the holidays.
The “Jingle” sequel, to be directed by Alex Zamm, will also feature WWE’s Santino Marella. Film starts production in March and will become available on homevideo platforms this holiday. Zamm also directed direct-to-homevideo comedy “Tooth Fairy 2,” also headlined by Larry the Cable Guy.
The projects mark the eighth time WWE Studios has produced a film with Fox. Others include the theatrical releases “The Marine” and “12 Rounds,” both of which starred John Cena. Fellow wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. took over for Cena in the “Marine” sequel.
More recently, WWE Studios and Fox have paired up on lower-budget homevid fare that features WWE’s wrestlers in lead roles. Randy Orton starred in “12 Rounds 2: Reloaded,” for example. WWE opts to cast its athletes in supporting roles for theaterical releases like the Halle Berry thriller “The Call.”
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Fox has treated homevideo platforms as a more cost-effective way to keep franchises going. While it’s move forward with sequels to “The Tooth Fairy,” for example, “Jingle All the Way 2” is the first time the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy has been given a follow up since its release in 1996.
At the same time, WWE Studios, run by president Michael Luisi, sees the films as ways to not only generate revenue for WWE but give the company’s stars additional exposure.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will handle worldwide distribution for the films across all formats, while WWE will promote the titles to its fanbase online and on its weekly TV series, and upcoming WWE Network.
“WWE Studios remains a valuable partner and we are pleased to continue to bring these films to their legions of fans across the globe,” said Mike Dunn, president, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “We’re excited to be launching the fourth installment of the tremendously successful franchise, ‘The Marine,’ and to have Larry the Cable Guy on board for ‘Jingle All the Way 2,’ a perfect star for our first family comedy with WWE Studios.”
This year, WWE Studios is also behind “Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery,” out on homevideo from Warner Bros. on March 25, followed by “Leprechaun: Origins,” starring Hornswoggle, which Lionsgate will release in August. The Soska Sisters’ “See No Evil 2” will also be released by Lionsgate in October.
On the bigger budget front, Dwayne Johnson will star in the adaptation of “The Fall Guy,” out next year.