Cena is in talks to star in the Universal project based on the best-selling novel by Jason Bourne author Robert Ludlum. He would play Paul Janson, a former Navy SEAL who now works as a corporate security consultant. Janson becomes a target himself when a rescue operation goes horribly wrong.
James Vanderbilt (White House Down) will adapt the movie from a story co-authored with Akiva Goldsman.
Johnson, who made the casting announcement Monday on his social media outlets, was originally set to topline the project, but his incredibly busy schedule — which includes the upcoming feature Skyscraper and a sequel to Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — kept him from starring in the movie. He will now serve as an executive producer alongside Seven Bucks’ Dany Garcia and Tracey Nyberg of Mythology.
Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner of Captivate Entertainment will produce, along with Hiram Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions, Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and William Sherak of Mythology and Goldsman for his Weed Road Pictures.
Cena, who is repped by ICM, is in theaters now with the Universal comedy Blockers and will next be seen in Paramount’s Transformers spinoff Bumblebee.