Ed Harris to Star in WWE Studios' "Big Red"
Amy Madigan and WWE(R) Superstar Randy Orton(R) Also Star in the Coming-of-Age Film
STAMFORD, Conn., Feb 19, 2010 - WWE Studios announced today that award-winning actor Ed Harris ("Pollock," "Apollo 13," "The Truman Show") will headline the cast of the (tentatively titled) film, "Big Red." Chase Ellison ("Tooth Fairy"), Molly Parker ("Deadwood"), Daniel Roebuck ("Final Destination"), WWE Superstar Randy Orton, Mia Rose Frampton ("Make It or Break It") and Amy Madigan ("Carnivale") will also star in this family-friendly movie, scheduled to begin principal photography in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 23, 2010.
Set against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, "Big Red" is a coming-of-age story which follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (CHASE ELLISON), a bright student whose English teacher, Mr. Simon (ED HARRIS), pairs him on a project with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley (aka "Big Red"). When Andy watches Stanley fearlessly confront a school bully, a series of events is unleashed, which changes the lives of both young men -- and their teacher -- forever.
WWE Studios Executive Vice President Mike Pavone will direct the drama from his original screenplay. "Big Red" is produced by Pavone and Denise Chamian. WWE Studios Vice President David Calloway is the executive in charge of production and the line producer is Todd Lewis.
Golden Globe-winning actor Ed Harris stars as Mr. Simon, a popular "Teacher of the Year" who finds himself the target of a vendetta when he makes sure the principal (AMY MADIGAN) suspends a school bully. A four-time Oscar nominee and SAG Award winner, Harris has distinguished himself as one of film's most respected and talented actors in numerous popular and critically-acclaimed films, including: "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," "The Hours," "A Beautiful Mind," "Enemy at the Gates," "The Truman Show," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "A History of Violence," "The Rock," "Apollo 13," "The Firm," "Places in the Heart" and "The Right Stuff." Harris also directed and starred in the title role of "Pollock," for which he received an Oscar nomination for his performance. He also wrote, directed, produced and starred in the award-winning film adaptation, "Appaloosa."
Chase Ellison plays Andy Nichol, a bright student unwillingly paired with the school's biggest outcast, Stanley/ "Big Red" for an English term paper. Ellison's film credits include "Tooth Fairy," "Fireflies in the Garden," "End of the Spear," "Wristcutters: A Love Story" and "Mysterious Skin." His television credits include "Deadwood," "Boomtown," "Malcolm in the Middle" and as a regular on the daytime series, "The Young and the Restless" (Noah Newman).
Molly Parker, known to many for her role as Alma Garret on HBO's "Deadwood," portrays Andy's mother, Sherri. Parker has been a regular or recurring character on several acclaimed television series including "Swingtown," "Shattered," "Six Feet Under," "Twitch City" and "Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years." Her film credits include "Hollywoodland," "The Wicker Man" and "Wonderland."
Daniel Roebuck plays Andy's father, Jim. Roebuck has appeared in the films "The Fugitive," "U.S. Marshalls," "Final Destination," "Rob Zombie's Halloween," "Agent Cody Banks," "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London," "Project X" and "Rivers Edge." He has been a regular on numerous television series including "Lost," "Woke Up Dead," "Nash Bridges," "Matlock," "Capital News" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He is also the writer, producer and director of the horror documentary series, "Monsterama."
WWE Superstar Randy Orton portrays Ed Freel, the father of the bully reprimanded by Simon. When Freel's son spreads a lie about Simon, Ed repeats the accusation and begins a campaign to get Simon fired. Since making his WWE debut in 2002, Orton has held the WWE Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship, the Intercontinental Championship and the World Tag Championship. A third-generation WWE Superstar, Orton is the son of WWE Hall of Famer "Cowboy Bob" Orton and the grandson of "The Big O," the late Bob Orton, Sr.
Mia Rose Frampton has been cast as Mary Bell, the prettiest girl in the school, who is also known as the preeminent make-out artist of the eighth grade. Frampton, the daughter of Grammy Award-winning artist Peter Frampton, stars as Becca Keeler in the popular ABC television series, "Make It or Break It" about the training of Olympic hopefuls.
Golden Globe-winner Amy Madigan ("Roe v. Wade") plays Principal Kelner, whose decision to suspend a school bully has devastating and unforeseen consequences. Madigan, familiar to many for her role as Annie Kinsella in the film, "Field of Dreams," and Iris Crowe in the HBO series "Carnivale," has received Oscar, Emmy and Independent Spirit Award nominations for her work in "Twice in a Lifetime," "The Prince of Pennsylvania," "Love Child" and "Loved." Her film credits include "The Laramie Project," "Pollock," "With Friends Like These," "The Dark Half," "Uncle Buck," "Alamo Bay," "Places in the Heart" and "Streets of Fire."
Writer-director-producer Pavone recently produced the family drama, "Legendary," starring Patricia Clarkson, WWE Superstar John Cena(R) and Danny Glover, as well as the comedy "Knucklehead," with Mark Feuerstein, Melora Hardin and WWE Superstar Paul "Big Show(R)" Wight. "Legendary" and "Knucklehead" are slated for theatrical release in late 2010.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company (WWE 16.44, +0.10, +0.61%) , 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, PG content across all of its platforms including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE 16.44, +0.10, +0.61%) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news 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 the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, feature films, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; 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 to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.
SOURCE: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.