The corporate WWE website has announced that Randy Orton will star in their latest film in an ongoing pipeline called "12 Rounds Reloaded". This is the second of three direct to home video titles that WWE are producing with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, as WWE has started working with other film studios again after their attempts to go it alone led to huge money losses for their movie division.
A brief synopsis of the plot was given by WWE:
Orton will portray an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) who finds himself caught in a deadly 12-round game of cat and mouse with a vigilante tied to the paramedic's past. With little time to spare and his wife's life hanging in the balance, the EMT must figure out why he's been chosen to be the pawn in this maniac's game before it's too late.
If this all sounds very familiar, then that's because it's the sequel to the 2009 WWE film 12 Rounds starring John Cena, which had a virtually identical plot:
Detective Danny Fisher discovers his girlfriend has been kidnapped by an ex-con tied to Fisher's past, and he'll have to successfully complete 12 challenges in order to secure her safe release.
For those keeping score at home, that movie lost WWE $2.9 million, though I imagine the remake will have a much smaller budget than the original had. Still, I can't see how "12 Rounds: Reloaded" will do much better, as no-one was crying out for a second version and films starring WWE wrestlers have lost all their novelty by this point.
This just seems like a lazy way to give Randy Orton a new movie vehicle, as he was originally cast to be the star in WWE's first collaborative project with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, The Marine 3: Homeland, but he had to be embarrassingly pulled from the role after real life marines started complained about WWE picking someone who had been dishonourably discharged from the United States Marine Corps for the role. The Miz ended up with the spot instead, even though it would be very hard to imagine the reality TV frat boy as an army hero.
Yes, this isn't the first WWE movie Orton has been involved with, as he had a brief but memorable (for all the wrong reasons) role in WWE's best film to date, which admittedly isn't saying very much, That's What I Am, where he played the father of a bully who starts a malicious rumour about the nicest teacher in school when his kid rightfully gets suspended. This led to the hilarious moment of WWE's most ruthless onscreen character having to utter the scary line: "I'll go to the papers if I have to". At least in "12 Rounds: Reloaded" he should get to kick some serious ass.
Production will start on September 26th in Vancouver, so Orton will probably have to take another leave of absence from WWE competition shortly after the Night Of Champions pay-per-view in mid September. The news is slightly surprising, as Orton only returned to WWE television on this week's edition of Monday Night Raw in a squash match with Heath Slater after serving a 60 day suspension for a second Wellness policy violation, believed to have been for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.