It’s time to get those John Cena bingo cards out. The West Newbury native — former WWE superstar, platinum-certified rapper, and family quiz show host — has a new addition on his resume: “The Fast and the Furious” cast member. Cena’s latest endeavor was just teased by a fellow costar.
In a new Instagram video, Vin Diesel mentioned Cena as he spoke about upcoming “surprises” in “Fast & Furious 9” and his experience shooting again in London.
“[There are] a few new surprises, including John Cena, who I believe is going to completely shine in this movie,” Diesel said.
(Diesel mispronounced Cena’s name, correcting himself in the comment section. “The world’s saga. . . it’s CENA not SENNA Vin. Haha,” he wrote.)
The cast has just entered its third week of production, per Diesel’s post.
As for Cena’s role in the film, that’s still under wraps.
In a June 7 statement, Universal confirmed his presence in the film, calling his character “a badass.” Some fans already have their theories, speculating that Cena has been cast as a replacement of sorts for Dwayne Johnson, who will not be returning to the franchise this time around.
Diesel’s recent Instagram post also confirmed the return of two franchise veterans — Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren. Both actresses were introduced to fans in 2017’s “Fate of the Furious.” Theron plays Cipher, a cyberterrorist and the movie’s antagonist. Mirren has a smaller role, playing the mother of Deckard (Jason Statham) and Owen (Luke Evans). Mirren will be seen in this role in the upcoming spinoff “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” coming out Aug. 2, which will star Johnson, as well as Vanessa Kirby, Eiza Gonzalez, and Idris Elba.
According to Cena, his role in the film came about thanks to a direct message on Instagram. In an interview promoting his Nickelodeon television reboot of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” Cena mentioned his enthusiasm for the project.
“I’m really super excited,” he said. “I have to thank Vin Diesel for kind of orchestrating this; he sent out an Instagram message a long time ago to get this snowball rolling, and I am so grateful to be part of such a storied franchise.”
Justin Lin, who directed the sixth installment in the series, has returned to direct the ninth.Chris Triunfo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @triunfo_chris.