The sequel to “Magic Mike” now has a name (‘Magic Mike XXL”), director (Gregory Jacobs) and release date (July 3, 2015), but it remains to be seen if it will have former World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Kevin Nash back in the role of Tarzan.
“I haven’t heard either way,” Nash said Saturday at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in McCormick Place. “I know that (screenwriter) Reid (Carolin) and the guys were working on putting it together. I kind of know the pretense of what it’s going to be.”
The 2012 male stripper film starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey was a surprise box office hit, earning $167 million worldwide on a $7 million budget. And yet, Nash – a member of World Championship Wrestling’s legendary New World Order stable -- said people on the street rarely recognize him from ‘Magic Mike.” Nash has also appeared in 1991’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze,” 2004’s “The Punisher” and 2005’s “The Longest Yard.”
“I think if someone mentions that I was in (‘Magic Mike’), they see it,” Nash said. “I had the long black hair (in the movie) but don’t have that physical appearance now. When I have my hair short like this, I get more ‘The Longest Yard’ and ‘Punisher.’ I look more like those two characters.”
What film and TV projects are next for Nash?
“I’ve got a small part in a Keanu Reeves movie called ‘John Wick.’ He plays a hitman in the movie and kills about 300 people. I don’t get killed, so I might get cut because of that,” joked Nash. “Other than that, I did this low budget horror movie where I played this giant vampire. The movie is called ‘The Association.’ They’ve had a bunch of legal problems. I think they finally got most of those hurdles taken care of, so that’ll probably be coming out. And then I’ve also got a pilot called ‘Tag Team’ that they want to shoot but they’re on rewrite because they can’t find the female lead, so they’ll probably go with two male leads.
“I hear so many things from my agency on a monthly basis. I did the (1992) movie ‘Freejack’ and was on the set 70 days. I went to the movie theater and never saw myself on the screen: ‘How is that possible? I was in four scenes. No wonder this movie went $40 million over budget.’ Until you see yourself on the screen, you didn’t make the movie. I don’t worry about it. If I never work again, I’ll be fine.”
Spurlock and Sock Connection: Former WWE Champion Mick Foley has been hard at work on a documentary -- “I Am Santa Claus,” which revolves around the people who play Santa Claus during the holiday season -- and recently had a meeting with filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) about the film. What exactly did they discuss? Foley wouldn’t say, but he revealed that it went well.
“(Spurlock) really liked it,” Foley said Saturday at C2E2. “I’m not at liberty to mention specifics, but I believe we may have a big announcement to make in the next couple of weeks.”
Foley originally was a subject in the movie but later came on board as a producer.
“The director, Tommy Avallone, was walking with his wife at a mall in New Jersey and saw Santa get up at the end of the day and wondered what does this gentleman do on Dec. 26. So he essentially followed Santas around for a year to see what they do. It reminds me so much of ‘Beyond the Mat’ – without the physical carnage.”
With Foley’s help, the documentary raised over $50,000 on Kickstarter, which went toward stop motion animation, among other things. Foley is currently promoting the movie by taking a photo of himself every day wearing Santa-related attire for an entire year.
Thumbs up: You don’t have to ask “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to do his famous “Hooo” catchphrase. As I learned Saturday at C2E2, the WWE Hall of Famer does it without prompting.
“Excuse me, young guy,” Duggan said when I asked him for his thoughts on the convention, “but the first thing that ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan has to do is give a big ‘Hooo.’ ... But it’s great. After 35 years in the ring to come back and have the fans come up and remember me it’s humbling. It’s a great opportunity for a guy like myself to tell the fans, ‘Hey, thank you for all the support all these years.’ I get lot people who bring their kids up and say ‘I was watching this guy when I was your age, young fella.’ A lot folks say thanks for the memories.”
By the way, Duggan’s booth was selling 2 X 4s, not unlike the ones he used to carry to the ring, for $20.
Bear down: Judging by the list of wrestlers Martellus Bennett named when asked about wrestling, it sounds like the Bears’ tight end was a wrestling fan back in the day. Now? Not so much. “I remember Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Razor Ramon,” Bennett said Saturday at C2E2. “The NWO was my era. The Rock, you know, Triple X.” He obviously meant Triple H, but, hey, close enough.
Biting allowed: Tribune colleague and fellow wrestling fan Kevin Pang wrote a story on Ronnie Lotz -- a former wrestling manager in the Memphis, Tenn.-based United States Wrestling Association -- and his Cigars and Stripes Bar-B-Q Lounge in Berwyn. The place is decorated with old school wrestling head shots and horror comics and recently booked a sideshow act who sticks a scorpion down his own pants. Believe it or not, Pang said the food is pretty good. You can read all about it by clicking here.
Heads up: Former WWE announcer Jim Ross will bring his one man show, “An Evening with Jim Ross,” to the House of Blues May 31.
About this week: Former TNA wrestler Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae will appear Saturday at The Squared Circle. … Lucha VaVoom – which describes itself as a “Mexican masked wrestling/burlesque/comedy ensemble” – will take place Saturday at The Vic Theatre. Ryan and Matt Classic (aka Colt Cabana) are scheduled to perform.
Sightings: WWE icon Hulk Hogan appeared Saturday at Ram restaurant in Wheeling, on behalf of Schwartz Sports Memorabilia, before appearing at C2E2. ... WWE announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler visited The Squared Circle Friday while town for C2E2. … Nash, Duggan and TNA’s Mr. Anderson were spotted Saturday at The Squared Circle, as were former TNA wrestlers Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, who were there for the second day in a row and in town promoting their comic, “Christopher Daniels and Kazarian wrestle Aw Yeah Comics.”
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