Peacemaker Star John Cena Was Rejected From Many Superhero Roles, Including Deadpool

Sometimes an actor is so perfect for the character they're portraying that we can't possibly imagine anyone else doing them justice. Ryan Reynolds was destined to become Deadpool. Nobody could have embodied the first live-action Shaggy as well as Matthew Lillard. And John Cena is absolutely perfect as Peacemaker

However, in a recent interview with Josh Horowitz on his "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, the "Peacemaker" star revealed that he faced a lot of rejection for superhero roles before finally finding his perfect fit as the occasionally tighty-whitey clad anti-hero of James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" and the subsequent "Peacemaker" spinoff series that recently debuted on HBO Max.

Cena is Just as Persistent as His DCEU Counterpart

"I can't tell you how many superhero roles I've been rejected for. Shazam was certainly one," Cena answered when asked whether or not he'd gone after any of the various superhero roles he was fancast for other years. He went on to elaborate, saying that he also auditioned for the role of Cable in "Deadpool 2," and even tried his hand at becoming a part of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe by vying for other roles.

Cena: "There was a brief try at the Deadpool universe, rejection."

Horowitz: "For Cable, I assume?"

Cena: "Yeah. Shazam was Dikembe Mutumbo. There was a few in the Marvel universe, rejected. But you know, I kept trying."

Obviously, the wrestler-turned-actor's persistence paid off in the end, and now we can't imagine anyone else playing the world's most violent pacifist and would-be gobbler of a whole beach full of dicks.

While we're certainly happy with the way things eventually played out for Cena and his quest to portray a superhero on the big screen, it is interesting to note that a musclebound guy and pretty enjoyable actor struggled for years to land a role in a superhero movie — after all, superheroes are known for their super physiques as much as for their superpowers. In the case of Cable, Cena has some proven acting chops and certainly bears a strong resemblance to the character, so it's not hard to picture him in the role that ultimately went to Josh Brolin.

Despite the wave of rejection, Cena clearly didn't let a little (or a lot) of rejection deter him from living his dreams, much in the way Peacemaker didn't let things like morality, ethics, and breaking my heart into a million pieces with the brutal murder of Rick Flag get in the way of his mission in "The Suicide Squad." Shared perseverance aside, Cena seems to be a much more stable and likable guy than Peacemaker, which kinda goes to show how capable an actor he is that he can so convincingly portray an unhinged, sociopathic killing machine. 

If you haven't seen just how perfect John Cena is as Peacemaker, or you're just eager to see more of the character's murderous antics after the events of "The Suicide Squad", "Peacemaker" is currently streaming exclusively on HBO Max.