Is The Suicide Squad’s John Cena Hinting At Another Comic Book Movie?

John Cena in Bumblebee

Superhero movies have become so popular and plentiful that various actors have now participated in multiple franchises within the genre, including Ben Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman and Josh Brolin. WWE superstar and actor John Cena is making his superhero movie debut next year with The Suicide Squad, but now some folks are wondering if Cena is hinting at tackling another comic book property.

Marvel and DC may still be The Big Two when it comes to superhero stories, but they aren’t the only game in town. For instance, Valiant Entertainment has established its own notable universe of colorful characters, and John Cena recently posted the following image of one of them.

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A photo posted by on

Here we have X-O Manowar, who’s been around since 1992 and has been one of the anchoring heroes in the Valiant Comics Universe since it began nearly a decade ago. For those unfamiliar with X-O Manowar, he was originally known as Aric of Daria, a soldier who fought against the Roman Empire in fifth century Europe until he was kidnapped by an alien race known as The Vine. After several years in captivity, Aric led a revolt against The Vine and bonded with Shanhara, the sentient X-O Manowar armor, with him being the first to ever survive the process.

Unfortunately for Aric, The Vine were able to launch a counterattack that wiped out nearly all of the rebelling forces and forced Aric to escape while still getting a handle on the armor. He made it back to Earth, but because of time dilation, it was now the 21st century. After initially secluding himself and grieving the loss of his loved ones, Aric jumped back into action to fight back against The Vine, and now he protects Earth as X-O Manowar.

Of course, in typical John Cena fashion, this Instagram post lacks a caption, so we have no context for it. Maybe Cena is teasing that he’s in consideration to play X-O Manowar, or maybe he recently became a fan of the character after reading some Valiant comics as a way to pass the time while social distancing. It’s hard to say, but at least we know Cena’s at least familiar with the character… unless he just stumbled upon this artwork during random Google searching, which is entirely possible.

Whether he’s played by John Cena or someone else, it’s at least plausible we’ll see X-O Manowar on the big screen in the near future. A Valiant cinematic universe has been in the works for half a decade, and the original plan was for it to be launched with Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot over at Sony. However, last year it was reported that Harbinger, another Valiant property getting the big screen treatment, was being moved to Paramount Pictures, and the plan is to move other Valiant characters, including X-O Manowar, to the studio too.

As for The Suicide Squad, which wrapped in late February, officially speaking, we still don’t know who John Cena is playing. That said, various reports have listed him as playing Peacemaker. Cena’s other notable film credits include Trainwreck, Blockers, Bumblebee, Dolittle and F9, the latter of which was originally supposed to come out next month, but has now been pushed to April 2021.

The Suicide Squad will charge into theaters on August 6, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates on that movie, as well as any movement on Valiant projects. Keep track of this year’s movies with our 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.