World Wrestling Entertainment issued a press release this morning announcing WWE Studios is currently filming a new film in Louisiana, Killing Karma.
Batista had been publicly announced for the lead role a few months back, but was replaced by Triple H. According to sources, Batista is furious over the change. “Batista wants to be a movie star,” one source noted.
There was much discussion over the company’s tour of Europe that Batista will leave WWE when his current deal expires in the summer. He’s claimed to friends in recent months that he’s looking to wind down his in-ring career in order to focus on acting.
WWE issued the following press release on Killing Karma?
WWE Studios’ Killing Karma
STAMFORD, Conn., April 19, 2010 ? WWE Studios announced today that actors Michael Rapaport (“Prison Break”), Parker Posey (“Highland Park”), Julie White (“Transformers 2”), Michael Cudlitz (“Southland”) and Bruce Dern (“The Big Valley”) have joined WWE Superstar Triple H (“Blade: Trinity”) in the cast of the studios’ upcoming suspense drama, “Killing Karma.” Principal photography has begun in and around New Orleans, Louisiana.
Artie Mandelberg (“Saving Grace”) is directing from a screenplay by novelist Dylan Schaffer (Misdemeanor Man). “Killing Karma” is produced by WWE Studios Executive Vice President Michael Pavone and executive produced by Lori Lewis.
For the last 13 years, AJ (TRIPLE H) has been behind bars, convicted of murdering his stepfather, who was abusing his mother. Now released, AJ wants to start a small business and live a crime-free life. Unfortunately, within hours of leaving prison, his oldest and best friend, Jack (MICHAEL RAPAPORT) involves AJ in an accidental shooting in which a man is killed, forcing Jack to skip town. When Jack’s father and local mob boss Vic Small (BRUCE DERN) comes looking for retribution, AJ is compelled to protect Jack’s family and himself even if it means returning to prison.
WWE Superstar Triple H is AJ (Arlo Jayne), a parolee determined to go straight after serving 13 years for the murder of his abusive step-father. Triple H is a thirteen-time World Champion. He debuted with the WWE in 1995 as Hunter Hearst-Helmsley? and has become one of WWE’s most popular and successful Superstars of all time. Triple H has appeared in the film, “Blade: Trinity,” as a vampire enforcer. He has also guest starred in several television series including “The Drew Carey Show,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” “MADtv,” and “Saturday Night Live.”
Michael Rapaport plays Jack Small, a high-strung, low-level mobster and longtime friend to AJ (Triple H). Rapaport, whose feature film credits include the Tony Scott blockbuster, “True Romance,” “The 6th Day,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Cop Land” and “Mighty Aphrodite,” has appeared in more than 50 films and dozens of television shows since his debut in the acclaimed indie, “Zebrahead,” in 1992. He has also starred in several television series including “Prison Break,” “The War at Home” and “Boston Legal.”
Parker Posey portrays Claire Small, Jack’s wife, who has never stopped loving her former beau, AJ. Posey has appeared in more than 50 films including “Happy Tears,” “Superman Returns,” “Best in Show,” “Waiting for Guffman,” “The Sweetest Thing,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Scream 3,” “Party Girl,” “Clockwatchers” and “Henry Fool.” She has received two Spirit Award nominations for her performances in “Broken English” and “Personal Velocity,” as well as a Golden Globe? nomination for “Hell on Wheels: The Battle of Mary Kay.”
Tony Award-winning actress Julie White is Louisiana Tax Board agent Martha Twiss, who stumbles upon the accidental shooting, while investigating a smuggling ring. Well known for her roles as Judy Witwicky in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Transformers” and as Nadine Swoboda on “Grace Under Fire,” White is also the voice of Wendy Murphy in the blockbuster “Monsters vs. Aliens.” Her other film credits include “Michael Clayton,” “The Nanny Diaries” and “The Astronaut Farmer.” White has also enjoyed recurring roles on the television shows “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Six Feet Under.”
Michael Cudlitz portrays Detective Calgrove, a local policeman looking to solve the shooting. Cudlitz currently stars as Officer John Cooper on the television series, “Southland.” He is well known for playing Sgt. Denver “Bull” Randleman in the award-winning HBO miniseries, “Band of Brothers.” His film credits include “Surrogates,” “Stolen Lives,” “Crossing Over” and “Grosse Pointe Blank.” On television, he starred in the series, “Standoff,” and has also guest starred on “Lost,” “Saving Grace,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Criminal Minds,” “Prison Break,” “CSI: Miami,” “24,” “The Practice” and “Live From Baghdad.”
Academy Award? and Golden Globe? nominee Bruce Dern plays Dr. Vic Small, a mob boss/veterinarian who runs a lucrative smuggling operation. Dern has appeared in more than 80 feature films and dozens of television series in his nearly 50 years on screen. Since debuting in the 1960 film “Wild River,” Dern has worked in movies and television shows as a leading character actor. His films include “Marnie,” “Hang ’em High,” “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” “The King of Marvin Gardens,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Black Sunday,” “Coming Home,” “That Championship Season,” “Mulholland Falls,” “All the Pretty Horses,” “Monster” and the sci-fi classic, “Silent Running.”
Director Artie Mandelberg is an executive producer and director on the award-winning TNT series, “Saving Grace.” His other credits include “Wilder Napalm,” “Medium,” “CSI Miami” and “Moonlighting.”