Vince McMahon WWE Biopic PANDEMONIUM Story Details!
PANDEMONIUM STORY DETAILS
THE WOLF OF THE WRESTLING MAT
I became a huge wrestling fan in the late nineties. WWE’s Attitude Era headlined by Stone Cold, The Rock and Mick Foley was must watch TV in my house. The biggest villain (or heel in wrestling terminology) was the Czar of Sports Entertainment himself, Vince McMahon. The charismatic billionaire was the focal point of the hatred of every wrestling fan. His feud with Stone Cold was fun and attracted huge rating to the federation’s flagship TV show RAW.
If you want to see the rise of his evil character, you need to watch the fantastic documentary Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows. It was announced this week that John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus) are directing a film called Pandemonium telling the story of Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Apparently, the project has been kicking around for almost a year before it got the blessings of Vince himself to move forward.
Craig A. Williams who wrote the fantastic screenplay tells the audience right away:
“The following story is as true as anything else that happens in professional wrestling.”
Pandemonium begins in 1971, where we meet Vincent K. McMahon in his early twenties working as a traveling cup salesman. His biological father Vince Sr is the owner of the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation). They only met when Vince was twelve years old. The elder McMahon doesn’t want his son in the family member. Forced by labor laws to hire his son as an announcer, the younger McMahon becomes a valuable member of his dad’s company. As a reward or punishment, he inherits a small wrestling territory in Maine. He manages to grow it and eventually buy out his dad. The wrestling boom of the 1980’s happens mostly thanks to Vince and his vision to change the business. He coins the term Sports Entertainment to describe the new world he created. It becomes bigger and bigger until a determined US attorney decides to bring him to court over a Steroids scandal.
So basically, this story tells the rise and fall of Vince K. McMahon. It covers a lot of ground. His marriage and partnership with Linda, his strained and arduous relationship with his father and the building of his wrestling empire. I remember how a decade ago, they tried making a movie out of the biography of the rock band Motley Crue called The Dirt. The anecdotes told in that book were insane. Ozzy Osbourne was snorting ants! Pandemonium is the wrestling version of that story. Do you want drugs? People snorting cocaine everywhere and injecting steroids like there’s no tomorrow. Do you want wild violent acts? We’ve got destroyed hotel rooms and airplane fights. Do you want sex? There’s an orgy backstage at a wrestling event and a lot of nudity. At some points, it feels like the writer took the wildest anecdotes and strung them together for shock value.
I love the idea of John Requa & Glenn Ficarra directing this project. Their recent work of This is Us has showcased a more emotional side of their filmmaking. This movie needs those dramatic moments between father and son. Those scenes need to payoff and makes us care about Vince. Whoever ends up playing him will have one hell of an acting showcase. It’s the role of a lifetime that could make any young unknown thespian into a star. Agents should be fighting to have those twentysomething clients fighting for a chance to audition.
The other juicy roles are Linda McMahon, Vince Sr, Gorilla Monsoon and of course Hulk Hogan. There are so many classic wrestling cameos ranging from Bob Backlund to Randy Savage. The WWE fan in me was giddy anytime a legend would show up. There’s an amazing sequence where Vince goes on a recruiting binge to find his next superstars. We catch a glimpse at the real life behind the future superstars. The main antagonist of this tale is the one and only Ted Turner. We see the genesis of his infamous rivalry with McMahon. The second part of that epic feud could make for an interesting sequel.
WWE might have its first mainstream movie hit with this project. Who’s next on the biopic list? Ric Flair? The Hart family? Stone Cold Steve Austin?