SANTA MONICA, Calif. & STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Lionsgate (LGF), the premier next generation global content leader, and WWE Studios (WWE) are extending their longstanding partnership to encompass six new action films which will serve as starring vehicles for WWE Superstars as well as incubators for new and emerging talent, the two companies announced today.
The popular directing team of Jen and Sylvia Soska (SEE NO EVIL 2, AMERICAN MARY) will return to the WWE Studios and Lionsgate fold to direct VENDETTA, the first installment of the “Action Six-Pack” series, which will commence photography this summer and feature WWE Superstar Big Show®. The second installment of the "Six-Pack" series, which is currently in development, will commence photography this fall. WWE Studios will leverage its extensive multi-platform reach to promote each film.
Written by Justin Shady, VENDETTA centers on a hard-nosed detective who deliberately commits a crime to get thrown in prison, allowing him the chance to seek vengeance upon the criminal serving a life sentence for having brutally murdered the detective's wife.
“This collection of six high octane films will not only excite our fans, but provide a stage for emerging and talented filmmakers like the Soska Sisters,” said Michael Luisi, WWE Studios President. He added, “We couldn’t have a better partner in this enterprise than Steve Beeks and the team at Lionsgate, who have been great teammates and are proven distributors of this genre.”
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Michael and his WWE team on a series of modestly-budgeted action films that extend our longstanding and successful partnership,” said Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. “We have a strong track record in this genre, and we’re delighted to team with the WWE juggernaut to deliver action-packed event films that will resonate with their global fan base and beyond.”
WWE Studios and Lionsgate previously collaborated on THE CONDEMNED and SEE NO EVIL, as well as the upcoming 2014 releases LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS and SEE NO EVIL 2. Bradley Buchanan, SVP of Business Affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of WWE Studios and Wendy Jaffe negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate.
About WWE Studios
WWE Studios develops and produces feature films, as well as television and digital content. Its diverse slate is released theatrically, direct to home, and/or across digital platforms, and is co-produced & distributed through partnerships with premiere global entertainment companies including Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate. WWE’s film division, led by President Michael Luisi, is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA.
Recent films from WWE Studios include The Call with Halle Berry and WWE Superstar David Otunga®, Oculus directed by Mike Flanagan starring Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff, Dead Man Down with Colin Farrell and WWE Superstar Wade Barrett®, No One Lives starring Luke Evans and WWE Superstar Brodus Clay™, and Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, which paired WWE Superstars with Scooby and the gang.
Upcoming films from WWE Studios include Term Life starring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Hailee Steinfeld in a Universal Pictures release, Incarnate starring Aaron Eckhart and featuring WWE Superstar Mark Henry® in a Universal Pictures release of a Blumhouse production, The Flintstones which joins Fred, Barney and the whole Bedrock gang with stone age versions of WWE Superstars and Divas in a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release, Jingle All the Way 2 starring Larry The Cable Guy and WWE Superstar Santino Marella® in a Fox Home Entertainment release, and Leprechaun: Origins directed by Zach Lipovsky and starring WWE Superstar Hornswoggle® in a Lionsgate release.
WWE, a publicly traded company (WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Munich and Tokyo.
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Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to entering into, maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television and pay-per-view programming and our new network distribution agreements; risks relating to the launch and maintenance of our new network; the need for continually developing creative and entertaining programming; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent McMahon; the conditions of the markets in which we compete and acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to regulatory matters; risks resulting from the highly competitive and fragmented nature of our markets; uncertainties associated with international markets; the importance of protecting our intellectual property and complying with the intellectual property rights of others; the risk of accidents or injuries during our physically demanding events; risks associated with producing and travelling to and from our large live events, both domestically and internationally; risks relating to our film business; risks relating to new businesses and strategic investments; risks relating to our computer systems and online operations; risks relating to general economic conditions and our exposure to bad debt risk; risks relating to litigation; risks relating to market expectations for our financial performance; risks relating to our revolving credit facility; risks relating to the large number of shares of common stock controlled by members of the McMahon family and the possibility of the sale of their stock by the McMahons or the perception of the possibility of such sales; the relatively small public float of our stock; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has 34 television shows on 22 networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed series Orange is the New Black.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the first installment of the Divergent franchise, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, Roadside Attractions' Mud and Pantelion Films' breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
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