Throughout the years, it has become increasingly popular for professional wrestlers to transfer over to film. At first it seemed awkward, and many individuals scrutinized the idea. However, by today’s standards, it is the hottest trend, and one that proved to give audiences what they want.
WWE superstar John Cena is ready to attempt his transition from the world’s grandest stage of professional wrestling to the silver screen.
The Marine, an action packed adventure starring the professional wrestler, is now in theaters across the country. The premise for the movie revolves around the main character (John Cena), who has returned from duty in Iraq, only to find out that his wife (Kelly Carlson) has been kidnapped by a murderous gang, headed by a criminal mastermind (Robert Patrick), forcing him back into action.
Cena is clearly following the footsteps of many fellow professional wrestling superstars that have explored this transition, with varying degrees of success.
Wrestlers such as Bill Goldberg, The Rock, and the legend that began it all, Hulk Hogan, have all tried their luck by pursuing this career avenue when the opportunity presented itself. For example, Bill Goldberg has appeared in noteworthy films such as The Longest Yard (2005) and Universal Soldier (1999), playing simple but effective supporting roles.
Experiencing more success is The Rock, who has landed numerous leading roles in several films that succeeded at the box office, such as the recent Gridiron Gang (2006), Doom (2005), Walking Tall (2004), The Rundown (2003), and The Scorpion King (2002).
Although The Rock’s five year acting career has been short-lived, he has been classified as one of the most successful actors in Hollywood today.
He is now proclaimed a leading actor in Hollywood, and illustrates a great example for wrestlers interested in taking the plunge into acting, like John Cena, to idolize.
Likewise, Hulk Hogan, the professional wrestler who started the increasingly popular trend of switching over from wrestling to acting in the 80s, has also established himself as a fan favorite on the movie screen.
Various roles in Rocky III (1982), Suburban Commando (1991), and Mr. Nanny (1993), have ultimately allowed him to come full circle and back to television with his new reality show on VH1, Hogan Knows Best.
Nonetheless, John Cena, and the hype surrounding The Marine, may be mere publicity stunts allowing Vince McMahon, chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, to promote and his fairly new production company, WWE Films, to the public. By producing the film, McMahon inevitably hopes to encourage more of his wrestlers to expand their talents outside the ring. With success stories like Goldberg, The Rock, and most notably, Hogan, McMahon is taking his chances with the future generation of superstars, starting with Cena.
Additionally, The Marine is the first of many WWE Films to be released. Currently, the highly popular “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has agreed to play major roles in three upcoming WWE Films productions, the first of which is The Condemned, to be released later this year.If these films are successful, it will only affirm the notion that WWE Films will grow to be a powerhouse in the movie industry, and will lure many future wrestlers to film.