It looks like former WWE star John Cena is well on his way to becoming a bona fide action star as Dwayne Johnson announces he'll headline the upcoming The Janson Directive from Universal Pictures. The movie is based on the Robert Ludlum book of the same name.
Johnson was originally tapped to star in the movie as well as serve as executive producer alongside business partner and ex-wife Dany Garcia and their Seven Bucks Production company, but pulled away from his acting duties when his schedule became too full. Cena and Johnson share a history, working alongside each other as professional wrestlers in the WWE, and Johnson seems thrilled he's able to work with Cena once again.
Johnson, who has become box office gold over the last few years, announced the casting of Cena in the starring role of The Janson Directive on Instagram. "Found my star! Congrats to my good bud John Cena on landing the lead role for our movie, The Janson Directive," Johnson wrote. The actor-producer doubled down on the annoucement via Twitter, playfully teasing his friend about not screwing up the role. See Johnson's posts below:
Found my star! Congrats to my good bud John Cena on landing the lead role for our movie, THE JANSON DIRECTIVE. A project that myself, @sevenbucksprod, our production partners and Universal Studios have been developing for years now. Congrats man and I’m excited to go on this journey with you. Thank you for your commitment to the role and remember, as your producer if you screw up, I’m coming to set and droppin’ the People’s Elbow on ya. And you know first hand how devastating my elbow drops can be 😉💪🏾 Congrats my friend and let’s go make a good one. #JansonDirective #JohnCena #SevenBucksProds #CaptivateEnt #WeedRoadPics #MythologyEnt #UNIVERSAL
Found my star! Been a long time coming and congrats to my good bud @JohnCena on landing the lead role for our film, THE JANSON DIRECTIVE. And if you screw up, I’m layin’ the smackdown on ya 😉💪🏾 Lets work hard and make a good one. @SevenBucksProd https://t.co/pfYKbBGHAa— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 30, 2018
Cena took to Twitter to respond to Johnson's announcement, writing, "Humbled and HONORED for this incredible opportunity! The hard work starts..NOW!"
Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner of Captivate Entertainment will serve as producers on the movie with Seven Bucks Production's Hiram Garcia. James Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer, and William Sherak of Mythology, and Akiva Goldsman of Weed Road Pictures will also join the production team while Mythology's Tracey Nyberg will also act as executive producer. Cena will star as Paul Janson, a former Consular Ops agent turned private security consultant. It certainly seems like the kind of movie that could definitely turn into a franchise, and Cena seems to be on the path to becoming a rising action star in his own right.
The wrestler has already made a name for himself on the big screen with bit parts in the comedies Sisters and Trainwreck before landing a lead role in the current movie Blockers. Now that he's landed the lead in The Janson Directive and the previously announced lead in Duke Nukem, it seems that Cena will probably segue away from his wrestling career and focus entirely on his acting career. With someone like Johnson, who has successfully made the transition himself, championing him on, it's looking like we'll be seeing a lot more of Cena on the big screen in the future.
Source: Dwayne Johnson