By Derek Lawrence
June 10, 2019 at 05:00 PM EDT
Michael Tran/FilmMagic
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The addition of Dwayne Johnson to the Fast & Furious world in Fast Five proved to be a game-changer for the franchise, and now John Cena is hoping to be the latest wrestler-turned-actor to make such an impact.

Last week Cena, who most recently starred in Bumblebee, was officially cast in Fast & Furious 9. And speaking to EW in the wake of the announcement, he couldn’t be more excited to get behind the wheel.

“There are countless ways to describe the upside of an opportunity like this,” he says. “First and foremost, I’m a car guy, and that is what the franchise was built off of. They have a way of weaving this family narrative and making it a truly successful and globally reaching franchise. They’re also known for delivering the larger-than-life action and continue to outdo themselves, but they never shy away from story and the narrative that they’ve developed. They’re constantly redefining the franchise but not redefining the ethos. Literally, I’m surrounded by a group of people who are better than I am and such skilled people with so much experience, so what a great environment to learn from. It really is a tremendous opportunity.”

The news of Cena’s casting didn’t come out of nowhere. Last year during the lead-up to Cena’s comedic turn in Blockers, EW told the actor how perfect he’d be for Fast & Furious, to which Cena said it would be “a dream.” Then in April, the face of the franchise, Vin Diesel, posted a cryptic video on Instagram teasing Cena’s potential involvement.

“I’d like to think your interview was the one that sparked it, so I’m thankful to you,” Cena tells EW. “But also, I certainly owe a thanks to Vin Diesel as well. Because he sent out a social media message kind of alluding to the fact that that opportunity may be real, but at the time it certainly was not. And his message had a lot of weight and appeal to it. I guess that kind of got this avalanche of opportunity rolling, and I’m just really happy to get the chance. I give everybody who is attached to the franchise and who enjoys the franchise the promise that you will get my absolute best.”
John Cena Fox GIF by American Grit - Find & Share on GIPHY

Fast & Furious 9 opens May 22, 2020.

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