The Fast & Furious franchise has had its fair share of iconic villains across nine films thus far, but John Cena believes his character Jakob — the younger brother of Dom Toretto — is the best family foe yet. But with Owen Shaw, Deckard Shaw, Cipher, and many more, Cena has set himself a high bar when he debuts in F9: The Fast Saga. But the wrestler/actor sounds like he's up for the challenge and made it clear he understands the expectation that comes when people appear in the Fast & Furious movies. After all, this is the first new member of Dom and Mia's family in the franchise who is bound by blood.
The cast of F9 recently appeared during a press event that ComicBook.com was on hand for, during which they answered questions about the upcoming movie. Cena addressed entering the franchise nearly two decades after it first began.
"I certainly didn't overlook the responsibility of the opportunity. I get to reap the rewards of this family who has poured the foundation and built the structure of a global delivering blockbuster," said Cena. "I get invited into the ninth installment to share the last name Toretto and to be Dom's greatest adversary of all time. That is not lost. I think it has to start there. It has to start with respect."
In the press conference, Dom actor Vin Diesel spoke about the circumstances that brought Cena onto the project. And while director Justin Lin has a master plan in place, Cena knows they have to focus on each individual film as they come.
"It goes back to what Justin says about earning your next chapter. I believe that's a nice metaphor for life, as well. Everything we get should be earned. I was grateful enough to develop a relationship with Vin, and Vin was gracious enough to give me a chance. I forever thank him, and I always do, for betting on me. I remember telling him a long time ago that I wouldn't let him down because I love the body of work that's been established and it's an honor."
F9 has suffered from numerous delays since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. But Cena understands that fans are still very excited for the film's premiere in theaters.
"Anytime I hear a question like, 'How come we've never heard Jakob?,' or 'What is your relationship with Charlize?,' or 'What happens after I saw this?,' that means that the heart is still beating, the buzz is still there, and people are ready to go back to the movies to see F9."
F9 is set to premiere in theaters on June 25th.