WWE wrestler turned actor John Cena is reportedly set to replace Sylvester Stallone in new action flick Ex-Baghdad, co-starring Jackie Chan. At one time, the idea of Cena replacing a legend like Stallone in any role would have seemed crazy, but at this point, the former 16-time WWE champion has become a full-on hot commodity in Hollywood. Now 41-years-old, Cena would be the first to admit that his time as an active pro wrestler is winding down, but the opposite is true for his acting prospects.
Cena first began making waves in Hollywood via a small role in Amy Schumer's 2015 comedy Trainwreck, which illustrated the muscle-bound grappler's comedic chops. Shortly after, Cena turned up in the Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy's Home, and the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters. In 2017, Cena took a more dramatic part in Doug Liman's war drama The Wall, opposite Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He also appeared in sequel Daddy's Home 2, and voiced the titular bull in the animated film Ferdinand.
This year, Cena has already starred in the comedy Blockers, and is set to play a major role in the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee. Now, That Hashtag Show reports that the man whose wrestling persona is known for never giving up has landed a leading role in the action thriller Ex-Baghdad, starring opposite action legend Jackie Chan. Announced last year, Ex-Baghdad was supposed to mark the first time that Stallone and Chan had ever shared the big screen, but alas, that won't be the case, as Sly is out and John is in.
Ex-Baghdad's plot centers on a Chinese-run oil refinery located in Mosul, Iraq that gets attacked and overtaken. The owners of the refinery then enlist Jackie Luo - a private security contractor with an organization called the Snow Leopard Commando Unit, played by Chan - to come in and rescue their trapped employees. However, these particular attackers are less interested in wreaking havoc and more interested in stealing a fortune in oil. To stop this nefarious plot, Luo teams up with former American marine Chris Saatchi (formerly Stallone, now Cena), and sets out to stop the bad guys from reaching their goal.
While it certainly would have been interesting to finally see Stallone and Chan kick ass together onscreen, the reasons for Stallone's exit have yet to be revealed. If he had to leave the project, there are certainly worse choices than John Cena, who looks the part, and has played military officers before. Interestingly, this is the second recent case of Cena replacing an already set star in an action film. In late April, it was announced that Cena was taking over for old wrestling rival Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the Robert Ludlum-based The Janson Directive.
Ex-Baghdad is being produced and made in China, and will begin filming in the country this summer.
Source: That Hashtag Show