Fresh from providing the voice of a flower-loving bull in the Golden-Globe-nominated animated feature Ferdinand, WWE superstar John Cena will next voice a villain on Nickelodeon’s upcoming 2D animated series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Cena’s villain, an alchemist warrior mutant named Baron Draxum who aims to turn all humans into mutants, is a new character to the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. The baddie will be among the new mutants and villains that the four famous mutant brothers – each named after a famous European Renaissance artist – will encounter as they discover a mystical world beneath the streets of New York City in the new Ninja Turtles series. Comprising 26 episodes, the show is due to debut this September on Nickelodeon.
The wrestler-turned-actor gushed to Variety about the joy of being part of a much-beloved franchise.
“If you were of my age, you know Ninja Turtles, you were a fan of Ninja Turtles. Being able to recreate Ninja Turtles and be involved in the franchise is really special.”
News of Cena joining the voice cast of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came hot on the heels of the announcement that the 40-year-old has expanded his partnership with Nickelodeon that will also see him hosting the 2018 Kids’ Choice Awards for the second year in a row on March 24. Add to that, he will also execute-produce and host a new children’s game-show series, Keep it Spotless, which has kids competing for huge prizes as they strive to keep clean while completing an obstacle course designed to make them anything but.
Cena compares hosting the Kids’ Choice Awards as something akin to the work he does in WWE. “It’s a wonderful environment. I compare it to a WWE event where the show is absolutely 100% made for the audience. Being in front of a live audience for so long so many nights in a row, I think it prepares you for the chaos of a live television production which is so, so fun,” he explained to Variety.
As for Keep it Spotless, which is inspired by classic kids’ entertainment programs such as You Can’t Do That on Television and set to premiere later this year, Cena described it as such, “It’s like the chaos and the slime-ability of Kids’ Choice meets that crazy scene in the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory where everyone is wearing white suits and the kid gets transported through the TV.”
According to Nickelodeon Group president Cyma Zarghami, partnering with Cena, one of the most famous and popular faces in the WWE, was a no-brainer.
“He’s just one of those people who kids love, so why wouldn’t we want to be in business with him?”
One thing for sure, 2018 is looking to be a busy year for John Cena. Besides the slate of kid-friendly projects he has with Nickelodeon, he will be also be seen in the latest installment of the Transformers film franchise, Bumblebee. Not forgetting that he also has a wedding to plan after famously proposing to fellow WWE superstar Nikki Bella in front of a more than 70,000-strong crowd.
Despite making big waves on both TV and the big screen in recent times, Cena is definitely not leaving his WWE roots behind. Fans will soon see him back in the wrestling world after the 16-time world champion confirmed that he will be participating at the 2018 Royal Rumble, which will take place on January 28, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After taking much time off for Hollywood, wrestling fans are keen to see if Cena still has what it takes to succeed in the arena that made him famous in the first place.