In one of his most in-depth interviews to date, Michael Luisi, the president of WWE Studios, has opened up to Craveonline.com about the movie division's upcoming films as well as whether or not Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would ever be willing to star in any potential project.
Talking to Fred Topel at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Luisi explained how the company ended up pairing with production company Lionsgate for its upcoming reboot of the popular Leprechaun horror movie franchise, Leprechaun: Origins:
I come out of 12 years at Miramax so I have a lot of relationships from the Miramax days and when I went out and pitched our new business model to the people I knew at Lionsgate, they said, “Hey, you know what would be kind of fun? Finding something to do with your guys with one of your superstars that revolves around one of our existing franchises.” And I said, “I’ve got the project for you: Leprechaun, Hornswaggle.”
The film was previously scheduled for a March 2013 release (via Hornswoggle's Twitter), which would have coincided with WrestleMania season. However, Luisi later acknowledges that the film's script is "still in development," meaning any release is likely a long way off.
Topel also asked Luisi about the possibility of The Rock agreeing to do a film with WWE Studios in the future, something the executive seemed ambivalent about:
He participated in Wrestlemania last year and he’s been involved with WWE events since then and I think there’s nothing that would please us or our fans more than if we could find a way to do a movie project with him. So “to be continued” on that front.
No doubt WWE Studios would very much like to work with The Rock. He's a genuine A-list Hollywood star, after all.
However, it is very unlikely the low-budget movie studio could meet his salary demands (as Forbes notes, he makes millions per film). It also remains to be seen if The Rock, used to starring in successful high-profile blockbuster movies, would be willing to associate himself with a film company that has the patchy track record of WWE Studios.
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