He’s an obvious choice for the long-running franchise led by Hollywood’s biggest tough guys.
John Cena was officially confirmed as part of the cast for Universal’s upcoming Fast & Furious 9 on Friday.
An appearance by the 42-year-old actor and wrestler was hinted at in April by series star Vin Diesel, though this is the first official word that John will be in the action film.
New pals: John Cena, 42, was officially confirmed as part of the cast for Universal’s upcoming Fast & Furious 9 on Friday
There’s no word yet on John’s character, but a Universal press release calls his character ‘a bada**.’
The new casting was first hinted at on April 25, when Vin Diesel posted a leisurely-paced video that revealed the Trainwreck star.
A sunglasses-wearing Diesel filmed the close-up video from what looked like the inside of a film studio.
‘Guys, as you know, I’m always thinking fast, and thinking about the responsibility of making something iconic and deserving of your loyalty,’ he began.
Tough guy: There’s no word yet on John’s character, but a Universal press release calls his character ‘a bada**’
Surprise! The new casting was first hinted at on April 25, when Vin Diesel posted a leisurely-paced video that revealed the Trainwreck star
‘I know this sounds crazy, but every blue moon, I feel like Pablo up there sends me someone, another soldier for the fight for truth,’ he continued, referring to his former co-star, the late Paul Walker.
‘Today, someone came by the Toretto gym that speaks to what Pablo would have brought me,’ he said, moving the camera over to reveal a suited and carefully coiffed John Cena.
The SmackDown star remained totally silent as he tried to contain a smile, before giving a slow wave to the camera.
Big stakes: ‘I know this sounds crazy, but every blue moon, I feel like Pablo up there sends me someone, another soldier for the fight for truth,’ he continued, referring to the late Paul Walker
‘All love, always,’ concludes Vin.
The WWE star may fill a void left by series recruit Dwayne Johnson, who first appeared in 2011’s Fast Five and became a major component of the series.
He’s not slated to appear in Fast & Furious 9, which still lacks a final title.
Instead, he’ll lead his own spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw, in which he’ll team up with former villain Jason Statham.
Successful strategy: John will fill the shoes of Dwayne Johnson, who will sit out Fast & Furious 9 to lead the spin-off Hobbs & Shaw
Moving on up: The wrestler has increased his film appearances in recent years, including lead roles in Blockers and Bumblebee
Following the path set by Dwayne Johnson, John has transitioned away from wrestling in recent years.
After a string of low-budget action films, he garnered acclaim for a comedic supporting role opposite Amy Schumer in Trainwreck.
He went on to voice the title character in the animated film Ferdinand and had leading roles in the teen comedy Blockers and the Transformer’s spin-off Bumblebee.
Another Fast & Furious regular, Michelle Rodriguez, recently confirmed that she’ll also be returning for the upcoming sequel.
While appearing at the Bloomberg Equality Summit in London in May, she said she would return after a new studio executive ‘agreed to have that female voice on board so the guys aren’t basically interpreting that female voice on paper.’
Michelle had previously complained about having to rewrite her lines because they didn’t sound like something a woman might say.
She was also critical of how few lines and scenes she shared with the series’ other women stars.
No woman writer has yet been announced for the film, which is being written by Dan Casey from a story by Justin Lin.
Michelle Rodriguez confirmed in May that she’ll also be in the film after a female writer was added to help flesh out her character