Having been in the running for the titular role in Warner Brothers’ Shazam! before that role went to Zachary Levi, John Cena is now in talks to play another hero of sorts. Well, antihero is likely a batter term.
As per Variety, the 16-time World Champion is in negotiations to take the lead role in Paramount’s adaptation of the famed Duke Nukem video game. Cena, of course, made his name as an in-ring competitor for the WWE, going on to become one of the wrestling world’s most decorated stars and being the poster boy of Vince McMahon’s wrestling juggernaut for well over the last decade.
Away from the squared circle, Cena has starred in the likes of The Marine and 12 Rounds in addition to roles in Sisters, Daddy’s Home and Trainwreck. More recently, he provided the vocals for the titular character in last year’s animated Ferdinand, not to mention being signed on for the upcoming Transformers spin-off, Bumblebee. Then there’s the news earlier this month that Cena will be voicing a brand-new villain in Nickelodeon’s upcoming Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series.
While he’s often seen as the all-smiling, baby-kissing good guy of the wrestling world, Cena is actually a ridiculously funny guy with a unique charisma when afforded the opportunity to let loose a little – as highlighted in some of his more R-rated interviews over the years, such as his appearances opposite Howard Stern. As such, he could well be an inspired choice to play Duke in any big-screen adaptation.
For those not familiar with Duke Nukem, that was originally a video game from 1991. A no-nonsense, cigar-chomping, sunglasses-wearing, strip club-visiting, gun-toting badass, Duke was tasked with saving the human race from the threat of aliens. Since that first outing, Nukem has appeared in 18 further games.
As ever, expect more on all things Duke Nukem as we get it.