Sometimes, one actor/actress can command the screen for much of a year, and all eyes this summer appear to be on Mr. You Can’t See Me, John Cena. The franchise player of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) sport took time during the pandemic to lockdown some significant roles in several upcoming Hollywood films and has some incredible success heading his way for the remainder of the summer/the year of 2021 (and beginning of 2022).
F9 became released on June 25th, with Cena playing the villainous Jakob, brother of Dom Toretto (with our review here). While it was not his best onscreen performance, many got their wish to see Cena take on the role of a villain because most of his WWE career had him portrayed as a legitimate leading event superhero. The 9th installment of the ridiculous Fast and Furious franchise has racked up nearly 600 million worldwide and will continue to gain some more traction for the next month or so. Pitting Cena against Vin Diesel and Co. on the big screen ensured his star power grew (despite his controversial statements about Taiwan when
promoting the film). And there is even a strong possibility he will return for the last two installments of the saga, which start filming in January 2022.
Next up, Cena will be one of the main stars in the upcoming The Suicide Squad film directed by James Gunn, releasing on August 5th. He will portray the role of Peacemaker, who became described as a “douchey Captain America.” According to early first reactions, the film has received universal praise for its bloody violence, emotional depth, and hilarious moments thanks to the cast and Gunn’s direction. It indeed sounds like the Suicide Squad movie we should have received back in 2016. The film remains hotly anticipated now more than ever and will join the small group of rated-R superhero classics (like Deadpool and its sequel, Kick-Ass, and Logan).
Cena is also starring in a comedy film called Vacation Friends, releasing on August 27th on Hulu (with the trailer here). He will star alongside Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Yvonne Orji (Insecure), and Meredith Hagner (As The World Turns). Some are looking forward to a ridiculous comedy to cap off the summer, considering Cena has also had hilarious, stand-out performances in Trainwreck and Blockers.
Additionally, he will reprise his role as Peacemaker on the television series of the same name, releasing at the beginning of 2022 on HBO Max, and is set to join Matthew Vaughn’s next film Argylle later this year alongside Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, Bryan Cranston, and Samuel L. Jackson.
To add the cherry on top, he returned to WWE this past Sunday to a roaring ovation. He looks set to battle the universal heavyweight champion Roman Reigns (who is coincidentally Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s cousin) at the main event of Summerslam in Las Vegas in mid-August.
Cena’s presence in Hollywood and his professional wrestling company establishes him as a top-level star. He once was following in the Rock’s (and Dave Bautista’s) footsteps but continues to forge his legacy and remains true that he will always come back to his home in WWE, even if his career in Hollywood is starting to blast off. Unlike the Rock, though, in recent years, Cena walked right back through the divide between WWE and Hollywood for the time being, and that alone is one monumental triumph.