'Fast & Furious 9' Cast Officially Adds John Cena

John Cena (Blockers, Bumblebee) has put the pedal to the metal and become the newest member of the Fast & Furious 9 cast. Franchise star Vin Diesel hinted at Cena's involvement in an Instagram video back in April, but now Universal Pictures has made the casting official.

That video, which didn't technically confirm Cena was a part of the movie, was posted on April 25, but Deadline reports that Universal Pictures confirmed the rumor today. Cena's character is being kept a secret for now, and the only information about him is that he's playing "a badass."

There are only two types of people in the Fast & Furious universe: badasses and clowns. Cena could conceivably play either one; he began his acting career in action films like 12 Rounds, but eventually found a nice groove in the comedy world, appearing in films like Trainwreck, Sisters, and playing one of the leads in last year's Blockers. But since Fast 9 will have a Dwayne Johnson-sized hole in it, I guess the movie needs an extra slab of beef to try to fill that slot. (It's a fascinating piece of meta-casting too, since Cena and Johnson are both former wrestlers and Cena is clearly following in the path that Johnson blazed through Hollywood.)

Director Justin Lin, who helmed Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6, is back to direct the final two entries in the main saga of this franchise, which is planning to conclude after ten films. (That number doesn't take into account spin-offs, though, like the upcoming Hobbs and Shaw.) This will be the first Fast movie since 2006's Tokyo Drift that won't be written by longtime writer/producer Chris Morgan. Justin Lin reportedly came up with the story for this entry, and writer Dan Casey (Kin) is tackling the script.

Production gets underway this month, and Fast & Furious 9 (which I'm hoping will eventually have a title that continues the trend of this franchise's wildly inconsistent naming conventions) races into theaters on May 22, 2020.

Congrats to John Cena on becoming "another soldier in the fight for truth" alongside Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, and Tyrese.