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John Cena and Kathy Bates to Play Presidential Candidates in Political Thriller The Independent

·2 min read
John cena and Kathy bates
John cena and Kathy bates

Rich Polk/Getty; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic John Cena; Kathy Bates

John Cena is taking a thrilling turn with his latest film, pairing up with Kathy Bates for a political drama.

The Vacation Friends star, 44, and the Misery actress, 73, are the latest names to join The Independent, Deadline reports. The casting announcement comes just weeks after The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of the upcoming film, which also stars Succession's Brian Cox and Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith.

The Independent, which is set during "the final weeks of the most consequential presidential election in history," follows "an idealistic young journalist (Turner-Smith) who teams up with her idol (Cox) to uncover a conspiracy that places the fate of the election, and the country, in their hands," per Deadline.

Cena and Bates have both been cast as presidential candidates, with Cena portraying an independent in the race and Bates playing the first female presidential candidate, per THR.

John Cena
John Cena

Dia Dipasupil/Getty John Cena

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"We're incredibly excited to partner with Kathy Bates and John Cena on The Independent," said Brian O'Shea, an executive producer on the film and CEO of The Exchange, the company financing and handling sales of The Independent, per Deadline.

O'Shea added, "Kathy's exceptional acting skills, paired with Cena's global appeal and ability to transform on-screen, make them incredible additions to this film. We couldn't be happier that they've signed on."

Cena's latest role comes after the actor starred in the superhero movie The Suicide Squad. He is currently reprising his role as Peacemaker for a Suicide Squad spinoff series heading to HBO Max. Cena also recently showed off his comedic chops in Vacation Friends, a rom-com that premiered on Hulu and broke records as the streamer's most-watched original movie in its opening weekend.


Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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Next up, he's set to star in the spy movie Argylle alongside Bryce Dallas Howard and Henry Cavill and will play a former Navy SEAL in the thriller The Janson Directive.

Bates most recently appeared in American Horror Story, The Highwaymen and Richard Jewell, and has two additional films in the works along with The Independent. The actress is set to star in the adaptation of the popular Judy Blume book, Are You ThereGod? It's Me, Margaret, and will also appear in the comedy The Miracle Club.

The Independent comes from director Amy Rice with a script from Evan Parter.

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