John Cena appears to be joining James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. The former WWE star has been making the transition to Hollywood over the last several years, hoping to find the same level of success that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Dave Bautista have had. His first major role came in 2009’s 12 Rounds, but it did not result in him becoming a major action star right away.
Instead of being pigeonholed into being the larger than life, indestructible hero, Cena has more recently found most of his success with more comedically inclined roles. He made small appearances in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, both Daddy’s Home movies, and the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy Sisters. He recently got the chance to star in Blockers and joined the franchise world with Bumblebee. These were both successful turns for him, and now he’s using it to join a superhero franchise.
Variety is reporting that Cena is in talks to play an undisclosed role in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. He would be the second new cast member to join, after Idris Elba previously joined the project. This report further confirms that Margot Robbie will return as Harley Quinn, as will Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. UPDATE: Variety‘s Justin Kroll shared on Twitter that Cena’s role is the same one originally intended for Bautista (who passed due to scheduling) and that it is believed to be Peacemaker.
This is not the first time that Gunn has brought a former WWE star aboard one of his superhero projects, as he notably gave Dave Bautista his breakout role as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. Bautista has used the popularity of that character to become one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, and if everything goes well, this unknown role in The Suicide Squad could be another launching point for Cena’s acting career. Bautista and Cena could even share the screen here, as Bautista was previously reported to be in line to make an appearance of his own.
Even though this report does not add any details on his character, a previously revealed Suicide Squad team lineup does at least give us a few realistic options. The one that may suit Cena the most is Peacemaker, but that is also the role that Bautista was rumored to be playing. Since that is not yet confirmed, Cena fits the same mold and is now reportedly in talks to join, while Bautista has most recently joined Zack Snyder’s new movie and could make it difficult for him to also appear here. If it isn’t Peacemaker, Cena could also potentially play King Shark. This role could require less from Cena if the giant shark is made with CGI, but Cena may also have the necessary build to try and do the character practically.
That all said, there is also the chance that Cena is playing a character who previously was not said to be in the movie. Gunn is still rewriting the script and is still making big changes, like making Elba play a new character instead of taking over as Deadshot. Regardless of who he ends up playing, Cena’s comedic and action ability make him a great fit for Gunn’s usual style and gives The Suicide Squad another recognizable name to increase interest.
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