WWE Superstar John Cena has slowly been establishing an acting career of his own over the last few years, following in the footsteps of fellow wrestling co-stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Dave Bautista. Having appeared in a number of major film titles since 2015, including Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2, Cena has certainly proven that he can handle comedic roles and has set himself up to squarely fit the action/comedy star aesthetic. Back in January, Cena announced his interest in joining the planned Duke Nukem movie, a seemingly fitting project for the 40-year-old to take the lead in.
Game developer Gearbox Software revealed its plans to produce a Duke Nukem film at E3 2017, but provided no further details as to a production start time or final release date. What is clear at this point however is that Duke Nukem has huge potential, with the game series having a faithful following and the fact that its protagonist is a charismatic, shoot-em-upper, which, after the success of films like Deadpool, is exactly the sort of thing Nukem‘s demographic would pay to see.
A new report from Cinema Blend now officially confirms Cena’s involvement with the project in an interview with the film’s producer Andrew Ford, who also took the opportunity to update fans on Nukem‘s current progress:
Yeah, that’s what we’re working with now. He is. Yes. We don’t have a script yet, so that is confirmed at this point but if he reads the script and he doesn’t like the script I’m sure there’s ways that he could pull out, but right now he’s our guy.
The comparisons to the aforementioned Deadpool are certainly fitting in this case, with Nukem being somewhat of an outspoken antihero, in fact the character was often heard spouting sexist comments in the 1990’s games (very different from the time we live in now). Form even says himself that Deadpool has been an important influence in Duke Nukem‘s early development but also underlines how difficult it can be to pull that kind of a character off and points to getting the right tone for the film as the biggest challenge.
Duke Nukem is yet to receive an official release date