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John Cena to replace Dwayne Johnson as star of The Janson Directive

Dwayne Johnson is one of the busiest dudes in show-business, but it was only the matter of time before something had to give. Johnson had been slated to star in THE JANSON DIRECTIVE, based upon the Robert Ludlum novel, but due to his increasingly busy schedule, Johnson and the studio decided that the only way the project could move forward would be if he stepped aside. Johnson already had a replacement in mind and made the announcement himself on Instagram. Just who will be filling Dwayne Johnson's shoes? None other than John Cena.

Universal has reportedly been looking for a possible John Cena franchise which could play to his strengths as a physical presence, and the studio is quite keen to stay in the John Cena business, particularly after his success in the recent BLOCKERS. Cena will play Paul Janson, a former Navy SEAL who goes into business for himself as a private security consultant. After a rescue mission involving a billionaire philanthropist goes horribly wrong, Janson is marked for death and goes on the run for his life. James Vanderbilt (WHITE HOUSE DOWN) will adapt the novel from a story he co-authored with Akiva Goldsman. Dwayne Johnson will remain onboard THE JANSON DIRECTIVE as executive-producer, but he seems pumped that his buddy is stepping up.

Congrats to my good bud John Cena on landing the lead role for our movie, THE JANSON DIRECTIVE. A project that myself, @sevenbucksprod, our production partners and Universal Studios have been developing for years now. Congrats man and I’m excited to go on this journey with you. Thank you for your commitment to the role and remember, as your producer if you screw up, I’m coming to set and droppin’ the People’s Elbow on ya. And you know first hand how devastating my elbow drops can be 😉💪🏾 Congrats my friend and let’s go make a good one.

A synopsis of "The Janson Directive" via Amazon:

When billionaire philanthropist Peter Novak is kidnapped by a terrorist known as The Caliph, it's up to Paul Janson―a legend in the notorious U.S. covert agency Consular Operations―to save him. But Janson's rescue operation goes horribly wrong…and soon Janson is marked for death, the target of a "beyond salvage" order issued from the highest level of the government. Now Janson is running for his life, pursued by Jessica Kincaid, a young agent of astonishing ability who can anticipate and counter his every move. To survive, Janson must outrace a conspiracy that has gone beyond the control of its originators. To win, he must counter it with a conspiracy of his own...

John Cena will next be seen in BUMBLEBEE on December 21, 2018, with Dwayne Johnson returning for SKYSCRAPER on July 13, 2018.

Source: Variety

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