When it was announced that WWE Films would be teaming up with Lionsgate to reboot the Leprechaun franchise, it seemed like the fledgling film studio was on the verge of making a bunch of big moves due to the leadership of its new president Michael Luisi. And they are…but some of their moves are proving to be better thought out than others.
WWE Films was originally conceived as a production studio that would develop film projects for WWE pro-wrestlers to star in, and there’s two new bits of news on that front. The first concerns the aforementioned Leprechaun reboot. Variety has a report that states the new project has an official title, Leprechaun: Origins, and it also mentions that the film is indeed intended as a starring vehicle for WWE’s resident leprechaun, Hornswoggle (Dylan Postl), which many have theorized since the project was first announced. This is good news as far as WWE’s film future is concerned. I mean, if you have a leprechaun living under your ring, you might as well find a way to make some money off of it.
The less fortunate news involves WWE main-eventer Randy Orton. One of the WWE’s most recognizable current grapplers, Orton seemed like a solid choice to star in the third installment of WWE Films’ Marine franchise, The Marine: Homefront. So far every Marine movie has been about a super badass member of the U.S. Marine Corps getting a family member kidnapped and then having to go after them, and Homefront is going to be no exception. Orton was all set to star as a Marine trying to recover his daughter from a group of militia kidnappers; but some real life controversy has led to him being dropped from the film.
You see, Orton used to be a Marine himself, but he was dishonorably discharged from the organization after going AWOL several times and getting court-martialed. After his involvement in this new Marine film was announced, some people took public exception to the fact that a deserter would be representing the Marine Corps on film, and WWE responded to the outcry by giving him the (big) boot. A representative from the company stated that, “WWE demonstrated poor judgment in signing Randy Orton for the third installment of the film The Marine. 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.”
Seeing as this public controversy has given the company something of a black eye, you can probably expect to see Orton getting humiliated in the middle of the ring next Monday night on WWE’s Raw program. And, dollars to donuts, whoever it is doing the humiliating will eventually be announced as the wrestler who steps in as his replacement. That’s just how pro-wrestling works. It makes so much more sense than the real world. [Variety, via ScreenCrush]