WWE Goes To Hollywood31 Jul, 2002 By: Hive News
Busy morphing into a global television and live event powerhouse, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., has established WWE Films in Los Angeles to focus its efforts on expanding its role within the film and television industries.
Joel Simon, a feature film and television producer, will serve as the new division's president, based in Los Angeles.
"We're very excited to open WWE Films in Los Angeles. This new division will focus on developing movie and television projects," said WWE CEO Linda McMahon. "In Joel Simon, we have someone with the tenure and expertise to make this new venture a success. WWE Films will create and produce new and exciting material that will appeal not only to our loyal fans but to a larger public as well."
Simon will create feature film opportunities in which WWE will play a role as producer, McMahon said. The success of The Rock and the Universal theatrical feature The Scorpion King is one example of the type of opportunity WWE will continue to seek in feature films by placing WWE Superstars in prominent roles. In addition, Simon will develop new television projects - such as movies, specials or series-that will benefit from an affiliation with WWE or its Superstars. WWE will finance its own overhead and development for these projects.
Simon said he was thrilled with the opportunity. "WWE is a powerful brand that is an untapped creative resource for Hollywood," he said. "I believe that WWE has created a new breed of action-adventure hero, one with a ready-made audience. WWE attracts a strong, youth-oriented audience, the type of moviegoers and viewers who can financially make or break a film. My job is to show how the WWE brand and its Superstars can be used to best advantage to bring its global audience of teens and young adults to new film and television projects."
Simon joins WWE from his own production company, Joel Simon Productions, formed in October 2001. He was formerly president of Quincy Jones Media Group and Quincy Jones/ David Salzman Productions. He was also a producer/partner in Todman/Simon Productions. Among his feature production credits is X- Men and X- Men 2 (due in 2003), Til Death Do Us Part (due in 2003, starring Michael Douglas), Wild Wild West, Hard to Kill and Married to the Mob. For television, he produced the series “The People Next Door” for CBS/ Lorimar, as well as movies of the week for NBC/ Warner Brothers and Turner Network Television. He also produced the five-hour documentary “Say It Loud” for VH-1.