Wrestling star rescues Queensland film

Wrestling star rescues Queensland film - 12 December 2004

American wrestling superstar John Cena came to Australia to play a soldier but is unexpectedly doing double duty as a hero to a film industry in distress.

The muscle-bound action star of World Wrestling Entertainment's first feature film, The Marine, is tag teaming with another wrestling horror movie called Goodnight in a revival package at Queensland's movie studios on the Gold Coast.

Since the $200 million Peter Pan wrapped two years ago, Paris Hilton's House of Wax had been the only international feature filmed at the Warner Roadshow Studios.

Enter the charismatic Cena and a $US15 million ($A19.87 million) budget aimed at turning the "Dr of Thuganomics" into the next big screen action star.

It couldn't have come at a better time for demoralised film industry workers in the Sunshine State.

"For this to go away would be a damn shame," said Cena as he toured the studios.

"It's great for Queensland and it's also great for WWE Films - this is our first chance out of the gate too.

"You guys are getting revived and we are starting a new development for ourselves." Cena hosted a walk around a sound stage made to look like a bombed out terrorist hideout which is used for a heroic rescue early in the film.

Nearby, other sound stages are filled with sets for the $US5 million ($A6.62 million) horror movie Goodnight, starring Kane - another wresting superstar.

"The film industry in Queensland is far from being on the mat. It is in my view going from strength to strength," said Queensland Arts Minister Anna Bligh.

"The last couple of years have been some of the toughest in the last two decades in this industry. There is definitely a turn around happening."

WWE Films producer Joel Simon praised the work ethic and production quality of the Australian experience but admitted returning was not guaranteed.

"It may be difficult. We have to look at the dollars and cents," he said.

The Marine, which also stars Kelly Carlson and Robert Patrick, will be released by Fox late next year.

Cena hopes to make more action movies but is also looking forward to resting up in the ring.




John Cena

World Wrestling Entertainment


World Wrestling Entertainment

World Wrestling Entertainment - Corporate website

Lion's Gate Films

Queensland Government - Arts Queensland

Media Man Australia


Wrestling Directory

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