Who on Earth could possibly play WWE honcho Vince McMahon? The muscle-bound CEO is the subject of a new biopic titled PANDEMONIUM that is in the works at TriStar Pictures, which is in negotiations to acquire the script by Craig A. Williams, the Tracking Board has confirmed.
Hot off the success of This Is Us, John Requa and Glenn Ficarra will direct, while Andrew Lazar will produce with WWE Studios president Michael Luisi and Adam Goldworm of Aperture Entertainment. Charlie Gogolak of Zaftig Films will serve as an executive producer. TriStar executives Hannah Minghella and Nicole Brown will oversee on behalf of the studio, which reportedly went all-out to acquire the material once Lazar secured McMahon’s life rights — something that was an issue for studios when the project first made the Hollywood rounds last summer.
McMahon’s father and grandfather were early wrestling promoters who created the World Wide Wrestling Federation, which later became known as World Wrestling Federation, aka the WWF. McMahon shadowed his father at work and entered the family business after college as an in-ring announced in 1969, going on to become a popular TV commentator. Soon after founding his own company in 1979, he acquired the WWF, which was later renamed the WWE — World Wrestling Entertainment.
It was McMahon who took wrestling from niche sport to national sensation by focusing on building the league’s personalities, from ’80s stars Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant to ’90s stars “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to more modern warriors like John Cena — all of whom went on to enjoy acting careers.
Ever the showman, not only did McMahon create the first WrestleMania in 1985 — which has become an annual hit on PPV — but he’s also a successful wrestler in his own right.
Requa and Ficarra and Requa previously directed I Love You Phillip Morris, the Will Smith-Margot Robbie movie Focus, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Crazy, Stupid, Love. They also executive produce and direct NBC’s acclaimed drama This Is Us. They’re represented by CAA, while Williams (Underdog) is repped by UTA and Aperture Entertainment.
WWE Studios recently teamed with MGM and Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions on Fighting With My Family, a wrestling drama from director Stephen Merchant that will star Lena Headey and Nick Frost.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief