By Derek Lawrence
October 02, 2019 at 09:00 AM EDT
Kwaku Alston/Audible

John Cena is stepping into the audio ring.

The wrestler-turned-actor can already be seen on TV asking Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and he’ll soon be on the big screen in Playing with Fire, Fast & Furious 9, and The Suicide Squad, but he’s now looking to dominate a new medium: Cena is starring in Audible’s new scripted audio series 64th Man.

“More and more people are listening to series like this when they’re driving to work or traveling, so there’s definitely a marketplace for it, and I think Audible has taken a giant step forward with giving people meaningful content with a bunch of stars and written by great, funny comedy writers,” Cena tells EW. “With scoring and effects, you can be thrust into the environment and use your imagination while you’re listening.”

And the story of 64th Man is right in Cena’s “wheelhouse” as he plays Billy Logan, a college football star, who, after failing to break into the NFL, returns to his hometown, where he reconnects with this ex-girlfriend (Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky) and attempts to figure out what’s next.

Audible

“You have a guy who has dedicated his life to football and realizes that his life is going to have to change,” shares Cena. “I went to college to play football, I ended up being a team captain and All-American, but I realized that after my senior year I was done that I’d have to find new purpose. I struggled for a little bit, but I found my purpose after that. So I really do relate to Billy Logan in that sense; this is all he’s ever known and this is all he’s ever done and his foundation gets shook and he’s kind of stuck using the only skills he knows, that of playing football, to try and adapt to normal life.”

The 10-episode series, which hails from writers Bryan Tucker (Saturday Night Live) and Zack Phillips, features an impressive collection of voice stars, including Leslie Jones, Adam Pally, Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner, Alex Moffat, Jay Pharoah, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Will Forte.

“Expect a ton of laughs, as you can look at the roster of the people who are on it,” continues Cena. “But it’s also a really great story and I think that’s what makes it something that you’re not just going to listen to the first episode and tune out. It is a story packed with laughs and a story of desperation in some senses, but at the same time, it’s a very good narrative to listen to, and you want to see how it ends.”

Released Nov. 14, Audible Original and Broadway Video’s 64th Man is now available for pre-order. Listen to an exclusive preview below.

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