With furrowed brow and in a voice worthy of something very, very serious, actor Vin Diesel revealed in an Instagram video that wrestler John Cena will join the Fast and Furious cast for the ninth go-round of the popular film series featuring high octane action escapades of former street racers. There will undoubtedly be fast cars but the series long ago moved to more generic action-adventure plots. It is still, however, about family.
With Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Idris Elba tied up in making Hobbs & Shaw, a spinoff of F&F, perhaps producers thought the original franchise needed the additional star power of Cena.
It will be interesting to see how Hobbs & Shaw performs at the box office without Diesel's Dominic Toretto character, the dramatic linchpin of the Fast and Furious franchise. Diesel and Johnson, who are direct competitors for roles in action-adventure films, reportedly don't get along well, which may explain why Diesel is not expected to do even a cameo appearance in the spinoff.
Actually, Diesel didn't explicitly say that Cena would be in the as-yet-untitled Fast and Furious 9. Diesel said he was about “thinking fast” and making “something iconic” and deserving of fans' loyalty, and then panned his phone to Cena silently waving at the camera.
Diesel reverently referenced the late Paul Walker as a guardian angel, using his nickname for his deceased friend and co-star, “Pablo,” saying that Walker “sent” him Cena. We can only hope that Cena will drive a Ford GT on screen, given his troubled history with the car. There is no word yet on the plot, but expect more action than Shakespearian soliloquies.