John Cena has become a welcome presence in the world of action and comedy movies. Now, if a new report is correct, he could be headed into a feature film adaptation of the cartoonish action video game character, Duke Nukem.
A Duke Nukem movie has been bandied about for many years now and John Cena has been attached to it in the past. However, this newest rumor has rekindled a fire surrounding the potential of Duke Nukem getting his own feature films. Considering how irreverent and meta-referential the Duke Nukem games are, it is likely that the movie version would fit into a similar mold as Deadpool.
However, John Cena seems to be fulfilling a similar role in the upcoming Peacemaker series that will air on HBO Max. The spinoff certainly sounds like it will scratch a similar itch. Both Peacemaker and Duke Nukem feature action protagonists whose attitudes are… let’s just say, they are tough to be friends with. Is Cena looking for more opportunities that allow him to blend action violence with comedy? If so, Duke Nukem feels like a character that would fit right in with what Peacemaker is promising to bring audiences.
Before John Cena was considered for a feature film, Duke Nukem originated as a computer game in 1991 and was given a sequel in 1993. However, it was the release of Duke Nukem 3D in 1996 that would cement the character as a video game icon. It wasn’t long after the release of that game when a feature film adaptation of Duke Nukem started to rear its head. Obviously, nothing manifested but the attempt to bring Duke Nukem to the big screen continued to pop up over the years. The most recent news was back in 2018 when John Cena was first announced as being attached to the property.
John Cena could definitely have a ton of fun as Duke Nukem. The character is essentially a giant parody of stereotypical action movie heroes from the ’80s and ’90s. There are even direct lines taken from movies like They Live that have become synonimous with Duke Nukem. Would those lines make their way into a feature film? We would certainly hope so.
However, Duke Nukem is also a character that invites a lot of controversy. The last proper game in the series, Duke Nukem Forever, drew tons of criticism for many reasons. If a feature film version were to happen, it would probably necessitate a even harder parodic stance regarding the unchecked machismo surrounding Duke Nukem and his world. John Cena has proven he can subvert raunchy comedy thanks to his role in the very funny film Blockers. Could he bring that same self-awareness to Duke Nukem?
There is no official word on the Duke Nukem feature film moving forward at this point. As of now, anything we are hearing is a rumor. We hope the rumors turn out to be true as John Cena is only becoming better with every major role he takes on. It would be very fun to see him put his stamp on such an outlandish cartoon of a character like Duke Nukem.