It’s good John Cena was turned down for so many Marvel & DC roles

John Cena auditioned for other DC and Marvel projects before being cast as Peacemaker. Here’s why these decisions ultimately worked in Cena’s favor.

John Cena stars in the HBO Max series Founder of Peace, a “spiritual successor” to James Gunns The suicide group. In it Founder of Peace John Cena plays Christopher Smith, an alert man who goes by the name Peacemaker and wants to stop at nothing – not even murder – to reach his goal of total peace. The series begins with Peacemaker being discharged from the hospital after being shot by Bloodsport at the end of The suicide group. Assuming he’s free and no longer being tracked by ARGUS, he goes home to try to restart his life, only to be pulled back by an ARGUS team working on something called Project Butterfly.


Cena, who got his start as a WWE wrestling superstar, said it before he was thrown in The suicide group, he auditioned for several other DC and Marvel projects. In an interview with Josh Horowitz for Happy, sad, confused podcast revealed Cena that he was going to audition for Cable in Deadpool 2, and for Shazam; roles that eventually went to Josh Brolin and Zachary Levi. Despite the many rejections, Cena continued to audition for superhero roles until he eventually got the role of James Gunns The suicide group, a soft reboot of 2016 Suicide Squad movie. The HBO Max series is a raucous, raucous action comedy that, in true James Gunn fashion, does not shy away from the strangest parts of the DC cartoon canon.

Related: Peacemaker’s missing character makes the villain’s villain even darker

Although the idea of ​​getting John Cena to play various superheroes has been hovering around the internet in fancasts for a while, it’s probably a good thing that Cena was not cast in any of the previous DC or Marvel roles. Working with James Gunn and playing a lesser-known character as Peacemaker allows Cena to develop the character much more than if he had played a fan favorite. While Cena probably would have given good performances like Cable or Shazam, Peacemaker is a character he can really make into his own. Being rejected for Cable, which he was not quite right for, also leaves Cena open to the possibility of being cast in a Marvel role that he would be better suited for.

peacemaker series

Peacemaker as a character works well with Cena’s comic acting skills as well as his action hero physique. His desire to be taken seriously as a superhero also agrees well with Cena’s own journey to play a superhero, which Cena and Gunn can use to add self-ironic humor to the character. Peacemaker benefits from the James Gunn treatment, as a deadly vigilance that will kill anyone who even remotely stands in the way of his idea of ​​peace, with the sumptuous look and costume of a golden age cartoon character. Cena’s background in wrestling also gives him the perfect background for a character like Peacemaker, who despite his desire to be a good guy, tilts on the border between hero and villain.

Most interestingly, being rejected for previous Marvel roles leaves Cena open to playing other characters in MCU. Although it’s not entirely unheard of for Marvel to use an actor in two different roles in the same universe, just as Gemma Chan is in Captain Marvel and Eternal, which usually only happens when a character is less important or is unlikely to be seen again. Or, as is the case for Cable actor Josh Brolin, the characters initially appear in two different film universes. But with the MCU branching out into the multiverse of Phase 4, there’s a good chance there will be many more iconic Marvel characters. Cena could get a chance to play characters that he is much better suited to than Cable, such as Fantastic 4’s Ben Grimm, whom Cena has expressed interest in playing.

Founder of Peace is John Cena’s chance to bring himself to a character. The HBO Max series gives Cena a chance to explore Peacemaker beyond the rigid vigilance that appeared in The suicide group. By not being cast in previous superhero roles, the door is still open for Founder of Peace to lead Cena to more exciting projects in the future.

More: Peacemaker: Every DC Easter Egg & Reference in Sections 1-3

  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release Date: May 20, 2022
  • The Batman (2022)Release Date: March 4, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release Date: July 29, 2022
  • The Flash (2022)Release Date: November 4, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release Date: December 16, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release Date: June 2, 2023

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