bumblebee john cena

Jason Bateman has been quietly flexing his muscles behind the camera. John Cena has been proving himself to be a comedic force in recent years. And screenwriter Mark Perez wrote one of the best studio comedies in the recent member with last year’s Game Night. Put them all together, and you have a new action/comedy coming to Netflix that sounds a bit like “A Night at the Museum goes to the movies,” albeit with a creative team that will skew a bit more adult.

The Hollywood Reporter has the story. Jason Bateman will re-team with Game Night writer Mark Perez for the film, but the Arrested Development and Ozark star will step behind the camera this time. Blockers and Bumblebee star John Cena will take the lead. The plot sounds deliciously high-concept, with plenty of opportunities to appeal directly to movie fans:

The story centers on a family that gets stuck in an old abandoned movie studio. The sets come to life and the family members find themselves stuck in a various movies.

Bateman will also have a role in the movie, but the specifics are unknown. THR says they won’t spoil the surprise, so I’m guessing it’s an interesting concept. In any case, this sounds like a great fit for Cena who, despite his intimidating frame, excels are playing anxious fathers and bumbling, well-meaning idiots.

This sounds like the biggest directorial gig yet for Bateman, who directed 2013’s Bad Words, 2015’s The Family Fang, and six episodes of his acclaimed Netflix drama series Ozark. And him re-teaming with Perez suggests that he knows what we know: that Game Night was really something special. And Cena being cast in the lead indicates that he also watched Blockers and said: “Yes, more John Cena being silly, please.”

The big question now is how specific this still-untitled project will be able to get with its movie references. Will Netflix license a bunch of familiar titles and let Cena and company run around beloved films? Or will they simply wander through a series of genre templates like science fiction, western, horror, etc.? In any case, I’m curious to see how this distinguishes itself from something like A Night at the Museum, which was built on a similar premise. After all, the presence of Cena, Bateman, and Perez suggests that this may very well be an R-rated and raunchy affair.

Details on when the film will undoubtedly begin trickling out soon as everything comes together. No release date has been set yet.

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