Duke Nukem movie producer Andrew Form has confirmed that wrestler turned actor John Cena is currently attached to play the video game adaptation's lead. Cena's interest in joining the video game film was first reported back in January. Gearbox Software first revealed their plans to produce a Duke Nukem movie at E3 in 2017.
Centered around a muscle-bound, Schwarzeneggerian hero, the shoot-em-up video game series Duke Nukem debuted in 1991 on PC. A sequel followed in 1993. In 1996's Duke Nukem 3D, the series crossed over to consoles. Another sequel called Duke Nukem Forever was announced in 1997, and promotional material was released. It turned out the announcement was somewhat premature, as the game would not actually arrive until 2011, fifteen years after it was first announced. Multiple spin-offs have also come out over the years, and Nukem has also made cameos in other games.
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Duke Nukem seems like a natural vehicle for wrestler-turned-actor John Cena, and indeed, Duke Nukem movie producer Andrew Form has now confirmed those earlier reports that Cena is attached to the project. Form made the confirmation in an interview with Cinema Blend, revealing that there isn't actually a script in place right now, at the same time:
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.
Form also discussed the tone they are going for on Duke Nukem, citing Deadpool as an influence. Form insisted that if they can't get the tone right, they won't do the movie. The producer also addressed the sexist nature of the character, who did after all debut back in 1991. Folks back then were a lot less sensitive about such things (especially in the gaming world). Form acknowledges the trickiness of creating a badass Duke Nukem who remains lovable a la Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool. No screenwriter has yet become attached to the film, and it will be interesting to see who they hire. Plans for a Duke Nukem movie stretch back to at least 2008, when Max Payne producer Scott Faye was reported to be interested.
It's truly difficult to imagine an actor who more perfectly embodies the look of Duke Nukem than John Cena. But Cena also has the ability to be funny, which is crucial to capturing the attitude of the character. Cena has made several appearances in comedies, including Trainwreck, Daddy's Home and its sequel Daddy's Home 2, Sisters and next month's new release, Blockers. Early reviews of Cena's performance in Blockers, a comedy about three parents stressing over their daughters' plans to have sex on prom night, have been notably positive. Later this year, Cena will also star in the Transformers spinoff movie Bumblebee.
In addition to Duke Nukem, Gearbox says they are also moving forward with a Borderlands movie. We will bring you more details on both projects as they become available.
Source: Cinema Blend