John Cena is in talks to star in The Janson Directive at Universal Pictures. The film is a adaptation of Robert Ludlum‘s action-thriller novel and Cena is in line to play protagonist Paul Janson, a former Consular Operations agent now working as a private security consultant, having left his former post thanks to a guilty conscience over sanctioned killings.
Janson now uses his skills to only help those in need. When Cena signs on, he’ll step into the role which was previously occupied by fellow professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson, who is now producing the film instead due to scheduling conflicts along with Dany Garcia under his Seven Bucks Productions banner.
A director hasn’t been found yet but James Vanderbilt will be scripting the adaptation of a story co-authored with Akiva Goldsman.
It’s a potentially huge role for Cena, who has become a bit of a breakout star over recent years thanks to his roles in comedies such as Trainwreck, Sisters and this year’s Blockers, as well as voicing plenty of animated characters, but is still waiting for his own truly star-making role.
Although he’s set to star in Transformers spinoff Bumblebee next year, he might be overshadowed by the franchise itself there (and literally overshadowed by massive fighting robots), but this role is a genuine opportunity to kickstart a franchise.