John Cena just might end up playing Duke Nukem in a film adaptation of the series.
Why, Hollywood? Why do you insist on taking everything classic in gaming culture and trying to turn it into a movie? But moreover, why Duke Nukem, a franchise that by all accounts died many moons ago? Can’t you just leave The Duke alone? Have you no shame?
Anyway. According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Cena is in talks with Paramount Pictures to star in a film adaptation of The Duke. Apparently, nobody told Paramount that Duke’s last video game, Duke Nukem Forever, was a total laughing stock upon release and the poster child for vaporware for over a decade.
So far the project is still in its earliest stages. There’s no writer, no director, and everything is centered on whether or not Cena will sign on to the project. To be fair to Paramount, Cena is basically the only human being on Earth that could pull off the look of Duke, but his baby-face persona seems completely at odds with The Duke’s, ah, shall we say, misogynistic nature?
The only good news is that Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, is set to produce the film. Platinum Dunes are the ones behind Bay’s lower budget horror films, like The Purge, Ouija, and the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So at least we’re in store for some gruesome alien death scenes.
While this news is certain to be met with consternation from many gamers, nobody was as angry about it as Jon St. John, the voice actor for Duke Nukem. He took to his Facebook page to try and convince his followers to tell Hollywood to turn the movie from live-action to CG so that he could remain the voice of Duke.
"Don’t let Hollywood and Michael Bay kill my character!” St. John wrote. “Video game movies that are not CG are generally not very good. An R rated CG would be the best way to maintain the king’s character. I’ve been Duke since 1995 and would like it to stay that way. Please share and tweet this with me. We won't let this happen! #Fight4Duke #hailtothekingbaby."
Seems a little self-serving, but at the same time, he’s not wrong.