Good news, everyone. John Cena is the latest action star to sign on to the mega-selling, improbably popular Transformers franchise. Following in the footsteps of fellow beefcakes Shia Labeouf, Kelsey Grammer and John Turturro, the WWE star will flex his acting muscles in the upcoming Bumblebee spin-off that is coming for Christmas 2018.
According to THR, he has "nabbed a lead" opposite Hailee Steinfeld who leads a young cast also starring Jorge Lendeborg, Jason Drucker, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, Ricardo Hoyos and Gracie Dzienny. Quite who he's actually playing remains to be seen, but there's little chance he's going to be a villain, and it's unlikely he'd only be voicing a Transformer (even though he's voicing Ferdinand The Bull).
He's built up a pretty solid reputation as an actor recently, mixing dramatic roles with comedy. His latest work has seen him starring with Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Doug Liman's The Wall and was very, very good in HBO's Tour de Pharmacy with Daddy's Home 2 upcoming too.
The Bumblebee spin-off is a Transformers prequel, set in 1987 in which Steinfeld's teenager discovers Bumblebee hiding in a Californian junkyard. The iconic Autobot will be going back to his old yellow VW bug days after the daft Michael Bay upgrade, and there's bound to be some Decepticon hi-jinx to follow.
Interestingly, the film will be directed by Kubo And The Two Strings helmer Travis Knight, which hopefully means it won't be as terrifyingly dull as the Bay mainline films. Casting Cena is already a big stride forward to that agenda too.