John Cena recently spoke with Collider while promoting the upcoming release of F9 when the subject of another of his films, The Suicide Squad, was brought up. Cena plays the unlikeable Peacemaker in the movie, which sees James Gunn working as both the director and writer. The 16-time WWE world champion and Gunn developed such a rapport that he wrote, directed and produce a spin-off series, Peacemaker, for HBO Max that's set to premiere in January 2022. With all of the roles he takes on with his projects, Cena compared Gunn to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
"James is everything, and the reason he is such a great director is because he assumes all roles," Cena explained. "He creates the story from the ground up, he supervises the story as a producer, he manages all personalities when he's on set as a coach, he's very determined in his selection process of the cast, so he's a casting agent," Cena explained, "he's meticulous on small details, so he's wardrobe design. He's a ridiculously intricate storyboarder, so he's a production designer as well.
"I think his ability to have his hands in everything — he's almost like the Vince McMahon of a movie," he continued. "Vince is involved in everything and wants to be. And I mean everything from — and this is James as well — marketing, certainly putting himself out there. 'Suicide Squad: A James Gunn Film', he's putting his stamp on that which means he believes in the product, and he does that so fluently because he's so invested in every piece of it. He has confidence it what he does. He's just too many things at once."
Gunn was asked on Instagram back in February why he chose to cast Cena for the DC Comics film. The pro wrestler has seen his acting career take off in recent years with roles in Trainwreck, Sisters, Daddy's Home, Blockers, BumbleBee and Dolittle. F9 will see him take on a villainous role as Jakob Toretto, the estranged little brother of Vin Diesel's Dom Toretto.
"I loved him in Trainwreck and have been looking for the right role for him for a while," Gunn explained.