Bill Goldberg adds co-executive producer to his diverse resume in the sports and entertainment business with the upcoming action film Bauer.
The project is a follow-up to Check Point, in which the pro-wrestling superstar reprises the role of T.J. Bauer. The veteran solider is recruited to head a new black ops organization for the government, as well as save his daughter from a new threat. With the premise for each of the films exploring the idea of terrorist “Sleeper Cells” within the United States, it’s frighteningly similar to what is going on today.
“Whether it’s San Bernardino or Orlando or in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is where we filmed and our scenario in the movie plays out,” Goldberg said.
“The fact is it can be your neighbor. It can be someone you pass every single day and have never thought twice about. People just need to understand you have to be vigilant. It’s a bigger problem. Just look at the presidential race. Look at immigration. I don’t even want to get into legislation on the political side of it. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a lot of missteps by our government. You have to deal with it and be prepared as humanly possible.”
Bauer is currently in pre-production with plans to enter principal photography in September. Goldberg is excited for the opportunity to work behind the camera, as well as in front of it.
“At the end of the day I’m one of three executive producers on the film,” he said.
“The people that I am surrounded by make me feel very comfortable. My best friend in the world, Matt Kutcher, is standing in to help direct and lend his expertise and bring in his Rolodex and his abilities to really put some great stuff on the screen for Bauer. That in itself is guarantees to me that it will be a great success because what he does is unparalleled to what others do in the Hollywood world.
“It’s great to be able to show up and deliver your lines and leave at the end of the day and worry about what you are going to do the following day. However, in the formation of the story and the formation of the characters and the development of characters, whether it is dialogue and look. To be able have a hand in that and feel as an actor I’m not overstepping my bounds, that’s a luxury. I am very much appreciative that they would bestow this confidence and responsibility in me to do that.”
The vision for the films really struck Goldberg, who is a big supporter of the brave men and women in uniform.
“There was an embryonic relationship with the studio Chasing Butterflies, but what hooked me was the incident in the film is exactly what we are dealing with in today’s day and age,” he said.
“When I was on the film, it was the same day the recruiting office was attacked in Tennessee. It hits home. As we’ve seen, other things have happened, whether it’s in the United States and worldwide. It’s something we need to talk about today. I’m not going to put it on the back-burner because people are getting killed each and every day. It’s something that resonates in every conversation, whether it is at the dinner table or the water cooler. It’s something that needs to be addressed.
“People don’t need to be afraid, but people need to be vigilant and aware. The reality is what is happening overseas can happen next door. There were a couple of twists and turns in the story that opened my eyes. It was fun to be a part of this project. I’m truly overwhelmed with excitement to have it come out and embarking on what is a series of movies with the follow-up being Bauer. We are going to do more with a lower budget movie than many people do with high budget movies.”
The former multi-time world champion may have not stepped foot in a WWE ring for the better part of 12 years, but remains popular among fans. That was proven when Goldberg was featured in a trailer for the WWE 2K17 video game, out Oct. 11. The legendary performer will be a playable character for those who pre-order.
“My son never played a WWE video game until I came out on that commercial,” Goldberg said.
“Now I can’t get him off it. This all did what I wanted it to do. You don’t want to say, ‘This is how I used to be.’ You don’t want to brag and boast. You also don’t want to feel you’re patting yourself on the back. You want to let public reaction and public perception do it for you. What the video game commercial did for me did just that.
“I think my son looks at me in a totally different light. I think he is more proud of me. At the end of the day, that’s why I did it. I didn’t do it because I wanted to get back in the ring by any stretch of the imagination. I did it to put a smile on my boy’s face, so when he goes to school he knows his dad is a downloadable and playable character in the game. It’s pretty cool. At the end of the day, it made me a good daddy.”
Of course, Goldberg’s involvement in a WWE product begs the question of where he stands with the company these days.
“I can only tell you that my name has been presented year after year to be involved in this video game,” he said. “And they gave it the OK this year. So there you go. That can answer the question.”
The 49-year-old, who remains in tremendous shape, appreciates the fans’ support.
“It’s more than a compliment,” he said. “To have anyone think I can still go out there and do what I used to do and want me to do it, it’s a huge honor. It really is.”
He says the last time he spoke with Vince McMahon was around WrestleMania 20, when he had his last match against Brock Lesnar. Goldberg is looking forward to watching his former opponent enter the UFC octagon once again.
“I think it’s brilliant,” he said. “He reinvents what it means to be an entertainer. I think he is doing what I planned to do years ago. Unfortunately, the stars didn’t align. He has the perfect scenario. He is following the path I would have chosen for myself if it was 10 years prior and when I was in my heyday. Unfortunately, guys weren’t making what they are making now in UFC and MMA back then. So it wasn’t an option. I am a huge Brock Lesnar fan.
“He did it the way I wanted to do it. I hope and pray that he comes out victorious. I think it’s a very interesting matchup. I think it’s a very dangerous matchup. But as dangerous as it is for Brock, it’s just as dangerous for Mark Hunt because Brock is an absolute animal.”
Even though Goldberg is in the WWE 2K17 video game, he doesn’t really watch the shows.
“I am obviously learning about who is present in today’s product through osmosis, whether it is a Tweet or Instagram post,” he said. “It’s not at the forefront of my television viewing selections. At the end of the day, I am at Muay Thai on Monday nights during Raw.”
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