With WrestleMania Week fully upon us and all the buzz associated with it, WWE made an announcement today that they would be partnering with A&E Network to produce five, original two-hour documentaries on five of the most iconic superstars of all-time: “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Booker T, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.
WWE issued the following press release about the documentaries, which will be produced under the award-winning A&E Biography banner, in conjunction with WWE Studios.
A&E NETWORK PARTNERS WITH WWE® STUDIOS TO PRODUCE FIVE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT LEGENDARY WWE® HALL OF FAMERS UNDER THE CELEBRATED ‘BIOGRAPHY’ BANNER
New York, NY – April 4, 2019 – A&E Network is partnering with WWE Studios to produce five original two-hour documentaries under the award-winning “Biography” banner showcasing some of the most iconic WWE Superstars of all time, including “Macho Man” Randy Savage®, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper™, Booker T®, Stone Cold Steve Austin® and Shawn Michaels®. Through these in-depth films helmed by some of the industry’s top directors and storytellers, “Biography” continues its focus on meaningful events and personalities as well as their impact on our culture. Through new and archival interviews and never-before-seen footage, each feature length film will give fans an in-depth look at the early lives, rise to fame and careers of some of the most influential stars in WWE history.
“We are thrilled for the tremendous opportunity to partner with WWE Studios to produce these special films that honor some of the most impactful personalities who have left a lasting imprint on pop culture,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, A&E Network.
“We are thrilled to partner with A&E, and be in business with award-winning directors Billy Corben, Joe Lavine and George Roy, as we bring these documentaries to life,” said Susan Levison, Senior Vice President & Head of WWE Studios. “This project further solidifies WWE Studios’ commitment to deliver new programming across genres and platforms.”
The first three films, currently in pre-production and slated to air in Spring 2020, include:
Biography: “Macho Man” Randy Savage – Directed by Billy Corben (“Cocaine Cowboys,” “Screwball,” “The U”), this film will tell the larger-than-life story of one of the most colorful and charismatic Superstars to ever step foot inside the ring. With two WWE Championships, four WCW® World Championships and a 14-month reign as Intercontinental Champion, Savage became known for his famous catch phrases, larger-than-life personality and the enormous, flashy robes he wore into the ring. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.
Biography: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper – Directed by Emmy and Peabody Award winner Joe Lavine (ESPN 30 for 30 “Playing for the Mob,” HBO “Namath”) this film focuses on “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who is universally considered one of WWE’s greatest villains. During his Hall of Fame career, he played the role of the antagonist against a who’s who of WWE greats, while amassing more than 30 championships.
Biography: Booker T – Directed by Emmy and Peabody Award winner George Roy (“The Curse of the Bambino”, “Mayweather”), this film showcases one of the greatest Superstars in sports entertainment history. Booker T is an 11-time WCW Tag Team Champion, a six-time World Champion, winner of the 2006 King of the Ring Tournament, and a two-time (2013 and 2019) inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. In addition to his Hall of Fame career in the ring, Booker T also went on to become a color commentator for WWE’s weekly programming.
Directors for Biography: Stone Cold Steve Austin and Biography: Shawn Michaels will be announced at a later date. These films are slated to air in 2021.
The celebrated ‘Biography’ brand continues to highlight newsworthy personalities and events with compelling and surprising points-of-view and remains the defining source for true stories from some of the most accomplished non-fiction storytellers of our time. Extensive on-air and branded digital content, including short form, will roll-out on all platforms, including Biography.com, the home to hundreds of profiles of notable cultural figures and influencers.
The WWE “Biography” documentaries are produced by WWE Studios for A&E Network. Executive producers for WWE Studios are Kevin Dunn, Chris Kaiser and Richard Lowell. Executive producers for A&E Network are Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson.
About A&E Network
A&E leads the cultural conversation through high-quality, thought provoking original programming with a unique point of view. Whether it’s the network’s distinctive brand of award-winning disruptive reality, or groundbreaking documentary, A&E always makes entertainment an art. The A&E website is located at aetv.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aetv and Facebook at facebook.com/AETV. For more press information and photography please visit us at press.aenetworks.com.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), 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 entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE’s TV-PG, family-friendly programming can be seen in more than 800 million homes worldwide in 25 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 180 countries. The Company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo. Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/
In 2002, seen as a “natural extension of the entertainment business” they had already built with weekly televised episodes of Raw and SmackDown, WWE launched WWE Studios, a full-service production studio that allowed the company to create movies under their own banner. Prior to WWE Studios, this banner had been the Shane Distribution Company, through which WWE produced No Holds Barred, starring Hulk Hogan.
WWE Studios and its prior incarnations have created over 50 films starring various superstars including the Rock, Austin, John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, the Miz, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Michaels, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Kane, Big Show and more. They have also worked with well-known film studios in Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and MGM to name a few.
This will be the company’s first project with A&E. It follows up a recent televised project that WWE ran with HBO to produce the Andre the Giant documentary in 2018, and most recent production overall since Fighting with My Family, which came out in February 2019.
In addition to the WWE Biographies series, WWE Studios also has several other productions in the development stage including The Fall Guy, starring the Rock and in conjunction with Dreamworks; an untitled Gorgeous George film; a sequel to The Call, the original of which starred Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin and was WWE Studios most successful release at the box office, bringing in close to $70M; and The Main Event, which will be WWE’s first project with Netflix after the two companies partnered to produce family-friendly for Netflix’s platform earlier this year.