Duke Nukem could be coming to the big screen—with a big name in the lead role. Professional wrestler turned actor John Cena is in talks to star in Duke Nukem, a live-action big-screen adaption of the iconic 1990s video game franchise. No script for Duke Nukem has been written yet, but the movie is reportedly intended to be a starring vehicle for John Cena. Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company will produce the movie, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
John Cena is in very early negotiations to star as the title character in the Duke Nukem movie. The muscular, cigar-smoking video game protagonist first began slaying aliens in order to save planet Earth in 1991, when the first game in the famous franchise was released.
While he is best known as a pro wrestling veteran and TV star on shows like WWE Smackdown and WWE Raw, John Cena has taken on a steady stream of acting roles in recent years. Cena recently appeared in the hit movies Daddy’s Home,Daddy’s Home 2 and the wartime thriller The Wall, and he voiced the title character in the recent Ferdinand animated movie. Cena’s TV credits include a cameo on Parks and Recreation and a voice role on YouTube Red’s animated series Dallas & Robo, according to IMDB.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, John Cena revealed he gets movie scripts “all the time,” but it’s a judgment call to find something that’s intriguing enough to take him away from his day job.
“I get scripts all the time,” John told EW last year.
“If I read it and like it, then I will actually read it again and see if I can see myself in it. I’ve read a lot of good scripts that I don’t think I’d do well in because I’m still refining my skill set. I’ve shied away from projects like that. If you read it and like it and can see yourself doing it, then you start to do the logistic stuff.”
It’s easy to picture John Cena in a Duke Nukem movie—he even looks like the character— but it’s no surprise that news of Cena’s role in a possible big screen adaption of the video game franchise has gamers buzzing. Fans have had a strong reaction to the idea of a Cena-Nukem matchup—especially with Michael Bay producing it.
I like @JohnCena and I played Duke Nukem like a fiend in the 90s, but why would a rising star like Cena play and all-but-forgotten video game character? Just say no, Cena. https://t.co/vIx2mCBJXq via @thr— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) January 23, 2018
John Cena is playin Duke Nukem for the live action film..— Papi Memes ???????????? (@SavinTheBees) January 23, 2018
That is the greatest worst idea I’ve ever heard this year so far
John Cena playing Duke Nukem in a movie directed by Michael Bay is the greatest combination known to man— ʙᴀᴅ (@HaIloSpaceboy) January 23, 2018
John Cena as Duke Nukem. I can't believe how weirdly interested I am to see that.— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) January 23, 2018
They should not make a Duke Nukem film, but if they’re going to do it anyway, John Cena is, like, 1500% the right choice for the role.— James O'Connor (@Jickle) January 23, 2018
Duke Nukem started out as a mostly silent character when he first was introduced by Apogee Software in the self-titled 1991 video game. Subsequent releases showed Duke as a mash-up version of a more traditional action hero—but also an egotistical and politically incorrect one.
The Duke Nukem character traditionally carries a jetpack and a golden gun and is always seen wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses as he kills aliens that have invaded planet Earth. Duke Nukem has appeared in 19 video games as the title character, most recently in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour in 2016.
Check out the trailer for John Cena’s recent movie, The Wall, below.