Patricia Clarkson, John Cena lead cast for WWE Studios' ‘Legendary'
Award-winning actress Patricia Clarkson (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), WWE Superstar John Cena (12 Rounds), Devon Graye (Dexter), Madeleine Martin (Californication) and Danny Glover have been cast in WWE Studios' film, Legendary, it was announced today by WWE. Director Mel Damski (Psych) helms this family drama, which is scheduled to begin principal photography in and around New Orleans today.
Written by John Posey, Legendary explores one teenage boy's journey (Devon Graye) to reunite his mother (Patricia Clarkson) with his older, estranged brother (John Cena) ten years after the death of their beloved father, a state collegiate wrestling legend. Legendary is produced by WWE Studios Vice President David Calloway. Executive producers are WWE Studios Executive Vice President Mike Pavone and WWE Studios Senior Vice President, Development & Production Steve Barnett.
Patricia Clarkson stars as Sharon Chetley, a mother grieving the loss of her husband while struggling with an estranged, older son and one-time high school wrestling star (Cena), and a brighter, socially isolated younger son (Graye), determined to re-connect with his older brother and put what is left of his wounded family back together. Clarkson, a New Orleans born-and-bred performer, has established herself as a versatile, award-winning leading lady and critically acclaimed actress in blockbusters (The Green Mile, The Untouchables), independent films (The Station Agent, High Art, All the Real Girls), television (Murder One, Frasier) and stage (The Maiden's Prayer, A Streetcar Named Desire). A graduate of the prestigious Yale School of Drama, Clarkson received two Emmy Awards for her recurring guest-starring role as Sarah O'Connor on HBO's Six Feet Under.
John Cena portrays estranged older brother, Mike Chetley, a one-time high school and collegiate wrestling champion, who suffers a downward spiral after his father's accidental death. One of the most recognizable and successful WWE Superstars, Cena has starred in the action films 12 Rounds and The Marine, and appeared on several television series including Saturday Night Live, Punk'd, Psych and Manhunt.
Devon Graye plays Cal Chetley, an extremely bright, 16-year-old outsider whose decision to join the high school wrestling team as a 135-pound contender has unexpected consequences for his estranged family. Graye is known to many for his role as the teenage Dexter in the popular and acclaimed Showtime series, Dexter. His other television credits include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Saving Grace, CSI: Miami and Leverage. His film credits include Scar, Exodus Fall, Lure and Husk.
Madeline Martin is Luli, a troubled young girl and outsider who is Cal's closest friend. Martin currently stars as Becca Moody on the series Californication. Her previous television credits include voicing the lead role of JoJo in the popular animated series, JoJo's Circus (2003-2006), as well as guest-starring roles on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order and Hope & Faith.
Well-known for his work as an actor and humanitarian, award winner Danny Glover portrays Harry "Red" Newman, a charming, albeit mysterious man who has a way of showing up in Cal's life just when he needs him most. From his blockbuster tag team pairing as Det. Roger Murtaugh (alongside Mel Gibson) in the Lethal Weapon film franchise, to his acclaimed performances in The Color Purple, Beloved and Dreamgirls, Glover has distinguished himself as one of the screen's most sought-after actors. Glover's feature film credits also include: 2012, The Royal Tennebaums, Predator 2, The Rainmaker, A Rage in Harlem, Antz, Silverado, Top Gun, Grand Canyon, The Shaggy Dog, Saw V and Witness. Throughout a 30-year career, Glover has won eight NAACP Image Awards, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Performer (To Sleep With Anger), five Emmy Award nominations (including one for directing) and a MTV Movie Award for "Best On Screen Duo" with Gibson for Lethal Weapon 2.
Writer John Posey, who wrote the screenplay for Legendary, portrays Stu Tennent, the sympathetic high school wrestling coach who remembers Mike and is curious about Cal. A long-time actor, Posey's credits include recurring roles on Boston Legal and Doc, as well as guest-starring on Cold Case, 24, ER, Crossing Jordan, News Radio and From the Earth to the Moon.
Director Mel Damski is a popular director, producer and executive producer who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary for the 1998 release, Still Kicking: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. Damski is currently the co-executive producer of the USA Network's hit sitcom Psych and has directed several episodes of the series. He also served as a senior producer on the Emmy Award-winning Picket Fences and has directed episodes of many David Kelley series, including Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, The Practice and Chicago Hope. His other directing credits include Las Vegas, Charmed, Without a Trace, Ed, The Guardian, Dawson's Creek, Early Edition, Sisters, Lou Grant and Sweet Justice (on which he also served as co-executive producer).