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John Cena To Play Duke Nukem In Classic Video Game Adaptation?

One of the reasons that tone is so important is that Duke Nukem, very much a caricature of machismo posturing, needs to be "fun and lovable and... an incredible badass" lest he come off solely as "a misogynistic guy in today's world."

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:April 3, 2018, 11:10 AM IST
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John Cena To Play Duke Nukem In Classic Video Game Adaptation?
John Cena (Image courtesy: AFP Relaxnews)
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Wise-cracking, alien-slaying badass Duke Nukem could be played on screen by wrestler John Cena, as long as the script is "dead-on." John Cena's association with a Duke Nukem movie has been firmed up in a pair of recent interviews.

The brawny video game icon was made famous through three games in the early 1990s, his design homaging a number of action movie stars; fourth game, Duke Nukem Forever, became infamous thanks to a troubled 15-year development, making its 2011 release something of a minor miracle.

Speaking to producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, who are promoting John Krasinski's horror movie A Quiet Place, CinemaBlend asked for more detail about their Duke Nukem project. In response, the pair referenced 2017 anti-hero blockbuster Deadpool, which made a mainstream success of its irreverent, smart-mouthed lead and proved that R-rated superhero movies could make box office bank. "We are working on 'Duke Nukem' right now," Form and Fuller confirmed. "It's going to be about tone... How do you nail that tone in the way that 'Deadpool' nailed the tone? We have to do that and if we don't get the tone right then we're not going to make the movie."

One of the reasons that tone is so important is that Duke Nukem, very much a caricature of machismo posturing, needs to be "fun and lovable and... an incredible badass" lest he come off solely as "a misogynistic guy in today's world." Something that Form, Fuller and Cena all appear to agree on is the importance of having the right script to work from. "Right now [Cena]'s our guy," the producers said. "We don't have a script yet... but if he reads the script and he doesn't like the script I'm sure there's ways that he could pull out," they cautioned.

During a promotional tour for April 2018 comedy Blockers, Cena echoed that call for an appropriate script treatment in conversation with ScreenRant, describing it as "a very fragile franchise... that is 1990s to the hilt." Indeed, Duke Nukem Forever was in many ways a product of 1990s sensibilities and was received far less favorably than even its raunchy 1996 predecessor Duke Nukem 3D. "The story has to come in dead-on balls, man," Cena continued. "It has to come in told correct, told in a palatable sense for this generation, which you're walking on eggshells... you can't not be Duke Nukem, but you can't make the wrong move."

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