The latest to join Amy Rice’s (By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama, Broadway Rising) political thriller The Independent are Oscar-winning actor Kathy Bates and famed WWE wrestler-turned-actor John Cena. The two will lead the film alongside Succession’s Brian Cox and Queen & Slim’s Jodie Turner-Smith.
Cena’s carved out a healthy career in acting over the years, but The Independent definitely marks a new kind of role for the professional wrestler. Typically Cena’s roles involve him playing a tough soldier, cop, or lovable himbo in blockbuster raunchy comedies or action films. His most recent film credits include F9: The Fast Saga, The Suicide Squad (in which he looked like this), and Hulu’s adult comedy Vacation Friends. In The Independent, he will be a politician and more specifically, an Independent presidential candidate. With this new role, Cena treads dangerously close to serious actor territory.
The film’s description reads: Set in the final weeks of the most consequential presidential election in history, The Independent follows an idealistic young journalist (Turner-Smith), who teams up with her idol (Cox) to uncover a conspiracy that places the fate of the election, and the country, in their hands. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Bates will play the first female presidential candidate opposite Cena.
The Independent is set to commence filming in November of this year. The feature is written by Evan Parter, who is currently writing the forthcoming John Dean movie for Amazon, starring Chris Pine. Cena’s other upcoming projects include the James Gunn’s Peacemaker-centric series for HBO Max, and Matthew Vaughn’s spy thriller Argylle. Bates most recently starred in the dramas Richard Jewell and Home. Her forthcoming projects include an adaption of Judy Blume’s classic novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s film, The Miracle Club.