John Cena plays an elite firefighter turned bumbling babysitter in the trailer for Paramount's upcoming family comedy, Playing with Fire. Much like Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista before him, Cena has recently managed to segue from a long professional wrestling career into a successful run as a movie and TV actor. And while he's continued to make his name as an action star of late, Cena has also demonstrated a real knack for physical comedy with his turns in hits like Trainwreck and Blockers.
He'll once again put those skills to work on this fall's Playing with Fire, a movie that pairs him up with Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator), John Leguizamo (When They See Us), and his fellow wrestler-turned actor Tyler Mane (X-Men). The four star in the film as a team of elite firefighters who're forced to babysit three kids - including, Deadpool's Brianna Hildebrand - after they rescue them from a forest fire, but are unable to locate their parents. It doesn't open until November, but Paramount has decided to go ahead and get the ball rolling on the movie's marketing this week.
The trailer for Playing with Fire is now online, and will presumably begin playing in theaters with The Lion King this weekend. You can check it out in the space below, followed by the official poster.
Directed by Andy Fickman (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2) and written by newcomer Dan Ewen and Matt Lieberman (The Christmas Chronicles), Playing with Fire uses the old Kindergarten Cop formula of pitting a tough-guy actor against a pack of trouble-making children. This isn't the first movie that Fickman's made starring an ex-wrestler and some mischief-making youths either; he previously collaborated with Johnson on the comedy The Game Plan and Disney's Race to Witch Mountain back in the 2000s. And judging by the trailer for Playing with Fire, the director's got a pretty firm grip on the proper tone for this sort of film by now.
Assuming that Playing with Fire doesn't mix broad comedy with unexpected drama and thematic depth like last year's Instant Family, it's probably safe to assume that it'll amount to somewhat regressive, but mostly just forgettable entertainment geared towards younger audiences (again, assuming the trailer is anything to go by). Not that there's necessarily anything unusual about that; Johnson did his run of family comedies in the '00s too, and even Bautista has My Spy coming out sometime next year. If anything, Playing with Fire will be a rite of passage for Cena in that regard.
Source: Paramount Pictures