Film site Variety reports that Orton, who recently re-surfaced on WWE television after a 60-day suspension for his second violation of the company's wellness policy, will play the lead role in upcoming thriller 12 Rounds: Reloaded, the sequel to the 2007 movie 12 Rounds, which starred John Cena.
As Variety notes, 12 Rounds: Reloaded marks the second straight-to-DVD movie to be made as part of WWE Studios' recent deal with 20th Century Fox Entertainment.
The site writes:
Randy Orton will star in "12 Rounds: Reloaded" for WWE Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The direct-to-homevideo title is the follow up to the John Cena vehicle that Renny Harlin helmed in 2009.
Orton will portray an Emergency Medical Technician who finds himself caught in a deadly 12-round game of cat and mouse with a vigilante tied to the paramedic's past.
David Benullo penned the scrip that Roel Reine ("The Scorpion King: Battle for Redemption" and "Death Race: Inferno") will direct.
Variety also notes that production is due to begin on the film on September 26. (Orton will presumably be written off television to participate in the movie, although John Cena has often continued being featured on TV and pay-per-views while filming his numerous movie roles.)
Notably, veteran action director Roel Reine has worked with WWE before: he also directed 2009's The Marine 2, a straight-to-DVD sequel to 2006's The Marine, one of the earlier WWE Studios projects.
Orton, meanwhile, previously had a small supporting role in That's What I Am, a coming-of-age drama starring Ed Harris.
As noted, the former WWE Champion was originally due to star in The Marine: Homefront, which finished filming last month. However, Orton was dropped from the role after the real-life United States Marine Corps complained about Orton's dishonorable discharge from the USMC in 1999, claiming it disqualified him from the role.
WWE, acknowledging they had shown "poor judgement" in casting him, pulled him from the part and he was replaced by Mike "The Miz" Mizanin soon after.
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