If the Duke Nukem movie is really happening this time, fans are demanding that somebody call John Cena. Recently, it was reported that a live-action Duke Nukem film has entered development. Legendary Entertainment has acquired the rights to a planned adaptation from Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwit, and Hayden Schlossberg. Given the talent involved, the film seems to be off to a good start, though no casting information has yet been announced.
A quick peek at social media in response to the Duke Nukem movie news will reveal countless comments from fans calling for Cena to get the part. This is not new, as there have been several false starts in the past of a Duke Nukem movie happening, and Cena has long been a fan favorite contender for the role. It had even been reported in 2018 that Cena would be playing the video game character in a movie produced by Paramount, but that version of the project did not make it out of development hell. But that clearly hasn’t stopped Cena’s fans from advocating for him to get the role once again now that Duke Nukem is moving forward.
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“Duke Nukem Movie in the Works from Cobra Kai Creators. Now just cast John Cena and give it to me now!” tweets one fan.
“Honestly with how good he was in Suicide Squad and Peacemaker I would really enjoy a decent John Cena Duke Nukem movie,” says someone else.
Even those who are admittedly not fans of Cena seem to agree that he’d be great for the role, as another tweet stated, “As much as I do not like John Cena as a person, I would really like to see him as Duke Nukem. I’m struggling really hard to think of anyone else I’d see in that role.”
John Cena Wanted to Do Duke Nukem Justice
Duke Nukem video games date back to 1991, though the most popular installment would likely be the third, 1996’s Duke Nukem 3D. The first-person shooter fully embraces action movie here stereotypes with the Duke Nukem character, from his physical appearance to the one-liners he’d spout when blowing away enemies. Duke Nukem 3D was one of the most popular PC games of its era and has led to fans wanting a movie for many years.
When Cena was attached to the previous, ill-fated version of Duke Nukem that died in development hell, he spoke out about how he was looking forward to playing that character. In 2018, he told Screen Rant that he intended on doing Duke Nukem justice.
“I think that’s the direct attachment and I’m very honored to be attached to that but that is a very fragile franchise,” Cena said at the time. “That was one that was very timeline specific, that is 1990s to the hilt. So, once again, it reflects upon story. The story has to come in dead-on balls, man. Like it has to come in told correct, told in a palatable sense for this generation, which you’re walking on eggshells…you can’t not be Duke Nukem, but you can’t make the wrong move…so I’m…what a blessing to be attached to that, a name like that, and I just hope development does the franchise justice.”
We’ll see if this new iteration of Duke Nukem is the one to get made, but one thing that’s for sure is that, if it really happens, John Cena needs to be the one in the shades.