WWE superstar John Cena is expected to miss “extended time” after WrestleMania 33, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported earlier this week, but didn’t divulge details. On Friday, fans found out why.
Cena has reportedly signed on to co-star in the Daddy’s Home sequel, according to Deadline. The 16-time World Champion made a brief cameo in the first film, which starred Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell — both of whom have also signed on to return — but has been upgraded to co-star status as his role will be featured “prominently in the sequel storyline.”
Deadline confirmed that the cast will also include Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, Linda Cardellini, Owen Vaccaro, and Scarlett Estevez. The original Daddy’s Home film made a $171 million profit by grossing $240 million at the box office.
Here’s Deadline‘s official movie synopsis of the upcoming sequel:
“Father and stepfather, Dusty (Wahlberg) and Brad (Ferrell), who are now working together to give their kids a perfect Christmas. When Dusty’s Dad (Gibson) and Brad’s Dad (Lithgow) arrive, their blended family conflicts rise to the surface. Cena’s character shifts the macho dynamics as Dusty faces the challenges of being a stepfather in the face of a more ripped rival.”
This will be the latest project featuring the WWE superstar, who has already made cameos in films such as Trainwreck and Sisters, as well as hosted the Espy Awards, Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, and the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. Cena continues to rise through the Hollywood ranks which, along with injuries, has limited his WWE schedule over the past year.
The company’s “franchise player” took a two-month hiatus before returning in December 2015. Shortly after, Cena underwent shoulder surgery and — with the exception of a run-in during WrestleMania 32 — missed several months of action before returning to Raw in May 2016. After several stellar matches with AJ Styles, Cena took another hiatus in August and wouldn’t return until November.
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) March 10, 2017
Still, there’s no question that Cena deserves the option of being a part-time superstar while pursuing a career in entertainment. He’s been WWE’s top competitor for more than a decade and has missed limited action despite working a demanding full-time wrestling schedule.
What’s interesting is that Cena has changed his tone on his real-life past criticism of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s departure from WWE, which led to their on-screen feud and two WrestleMania matches. Cena told Sports Illustrated he regrets verbally attacking the A-list actor in retrospect now that he’s experienced both lifestyles himself.
“It was stupid of me,” Cena said. “It genuinely was. That was my perspective at the time. When you’re involved in the daily grind of WWE, and that’s something I never will let go of—I promise you that. I just love it, and I don’t think I need to say that, ever again, or have somebody question my allegiance to a brand, not the sport of professional wrestling, so to say, but a brand. I love the WWE. For me to not be able to see Dwayne’s vision on what he wanted to do personally, and how his personal success could affect a growing global brand, that was just ignorant on my part.”
Granted, Cena had every right to feel that way at the time, especially having balanced several WWE films while still carrying the weekly programming. But it’s understandable that he changed his opinions after gaining a different perspective from his recent experiences.
Either way, Cena deserves to pursue a career in entertainment outside the confines of WWE and should be welcomed back with open arms upon his return. After carrying the company for so long, he’s managed to produce some of his best matches during recent years and shows little signs of slowing down.
Plus, WWE will only benefit from its most recognizable superstar appearing at non-wrestling events. The more Cena is seen, the more WWE is mentioned. That’s a win-win for both sides.
Cena’s latest role should continue his meteoric Hollywood rise and make his inevitable WWE return even more noteworthy.
[Featured Image by Valerie Macon/Getty Images]