Fast & Furious 9: John Cena Denies Jakob Toretto Is a Villain

Fast & Furious franchise newcomer John Cena says it's "not true" he's playing the villain in Fast & Furious 9, despite its first trailer depicting Cena's Jakob Toretto as the newest threat to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew. In F9, the forsaken brother of Dom and Mia (Jordana Brewster) returns to Dom's life just as he's settled down with son little Brian and his ride-or-die Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). Roman (Tyrese Gibson) points out the burly Jakob is a skilled master thief, assassin, and high-performance driver, one fueled by a desire to be better, bigger and badder than big brother Dom — but it could be terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) pulling the strings.

"We'll leave it for the audience, we'll leave it for the Fast family around the world to decide who's bad and who's good," Cena told ET Online. "Keep in mind, the trailer shows just enough for you to have a ton of questions — and me not to be able to answer any of them!"

Diesel said Cena's take is "fair," adding audiences are "going to have to decide" if Jakob is as bad as he appears to be. "Like, all the characters in this saga, they are multidimensional and there are no cookie-cutter characters. They all have layers, as we've seen... But we're so excited about this!"

Whichever side he's on, the WWE superstar isn't ruling out a future showdown with Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs, who is expected to reunite with the Fast family in F10 after sitting out F9. "In Fast, never say never," Cena told during a trailer unveiling and concert in Miami Friday.

Cena also isn't fazed by comparisons to The Avengers over the blockbuster action and gravity-defying stunts that have come to define the Fast franchise in recent installments.

"So this is what I find brilliant about the Fast franchise, and this is truly a testament to the Fast family, the people around the world who love these movies. They walk in to see these movies with a sense of family, and a sense of fun, and you're right, over the course of the eight installments, soon to be nine, they're superheroes without capes," Cena said. "But it's okay, because we've slowly like worked into that. It started out with unbelievable car stunts and then unbelievable action stunts and then a combination of both and then what can you do next?"

Star and producer Diesel recently revealed Cena's casting was inspired by the late Paul Walker.


Fast & Furious 9 opens May 22.