John Cena Beats The Rock To Presidential Run in New Political Thriller With Kathy Bates

Who will make it to the Oval Office first? Apparently that's John Cena, who's trying his hand at politics before his pal The Rock -- on the silver screen, anyway!

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John Cena & Kathy Bates
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John Cena, 44, is taking a turn for the political in his latest film, The Independent, alongside veteran actress and Oscar winner, Kathy Bates, 73. The thriller flick, set to film in November of this year, marks the first politically-themed drama for the professional wrestler-turned-actor, a career trajectory not too unlike his contemporary, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 49.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attends ‘Jumanji’ premiere in London. (Shutterstock)

The Rock teased a potential presidential run back in April after a poll suggested 46 percent of Americans would be willing to consider him for the role of commander in chief. “Not sure our Founding Fathers ever envisioned a six-four, bald, tattooed, half-Black, half-Samoan, tequila drinking, pick up truck driving, fanny pack wearing guy joining their club,” the Jumanji star tweeted on April 10. Looks like John is beating him to the punch — cinematically, anyway!

The Independent, which is set during “the final weeks of the most consequential presidential election in history,” follows “an idealistic young journalist (Queen & Slim‘s Jodie Turner-Smith) who teams up with her idol (Succession star Brian Cox) to dig into a conspiracy surrounded the fate of the election, Deadline reports. Both Blockers star John and Misery actress Kathy play presidential candidates eager for a win.

Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates arrives at the Oscars. (Shutterstock)

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Kathy Bates and John Cena on The Independent,” said Brian O’Shea, an executive producer on the film, per Deadline. “Kathy’s exceptional acting skills, paired with Cena’s global appeal and ability to transform on-screen, make them incredible additions to this film. We couldn’t be happier that they’ve signed on.” We’re also excited to see this pair go head-to-head!

John Cena
John Cena attends the LA premiere of ‘Bumblebee.’ (Shutterstock)

The political drama comes after John’s successful turn as Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad which premiered in August. John hilariously took to that premiere in his actual Peacemaker costume, and he’s also taking his Peacemaker role to HBO Max for a Suicide Squad spinoff series, reported People. The WWE standout also recently starred in the rom-com Vacation Friends which premiered on Hulu this summer and ended up breaking records as the streaming service’s most watched original movie for its opening weekend, per People.