John Cena Is In Talks To Play 'Duke Nukem' In New Film

It looks like WWE wrestler and latter-day movie star John Cena thinks it's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum... and he's all out of gum.

Yep, John Cena is currently in talks to play the brash video game character Duke Nukem in a big-screen adaptation of the long-running video game franchise.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film will be released by Paramount and produced by Platinum Dunes, the production studio run from Transformers director Michael Bay responsible for The Purge film series and Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films.

The film is believed to be in the early stages of production with a search to find a writer for the film reportedly set to start soon, while the director and other cast members have not been announced.

While we don't yet know which other actors may also be considered to play Nukem, the film would make a good starring vehicle for Cena. He does have a certain resemblance to the blonde alien ass-kicker Nukem...

In case you haven't heard of Duke Nukem before, we can't say we blame you. The Duke Nukem video games follow the adventures of Nukem, a ripped cigar-chomping anti-hero who guns down aliens to save planet Earth. It sounds pretty cool, and it was... Emphasis on 'was'.

Mashing up action movie tropes, gratuitous gore and, uh, casual porn, the Doom-esque series started on PC in 1991 and mostly ran through the '90s and early '00s with its crowning achievement being Duke Nukem 3D which was ported to Nintendo 64, Playstation and Sega Saturn in 1997.

Since then, however, the series has lain dormant, with the exception of 2011's much-maligned Duke Nukem Forever which spent fifteen years in development hell.


A project to make a film of Duke Nukem was previously set up at Dimension Films until the rights eventually lapsed. Paramount quickly picked up the rights from Gearbox Software, the company behind the game.

Cena already has form for working with Paramount and Bay after he appeared in the studio's Daddy's Home 2 and is set to show up in the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, so a further link between the two would make sense.

In 2015, Gearbox confirmed that it had done concept work on a new, "head-turning" Duke Nukem game. However, the company may not be responsible for developing the game.

"I think the faster way is that a correct developer can become interested and we can work with them," Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said at the time. "I think it's a challenging problem. But, I'll tell you one thing. When it does happen, there's no doubt that the whole industry will turn its head and look."

There's a reason Duke Nukem has faded in recent years - a meat-head dude saving lots of chicks is a bit old hat now - but if he can give a shot in the arm to the series and drag it into the 2010s, Cena will be a fantastic appointment. No doubt it will boost his new career too.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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