After foolishly taking on Bumblebee in the Transformers spinoff of the same name, John Cena is teaming up with Jason Bateman for an untitled action-comedy at Netflix.
Bateman will direct from a script by Mark Perez, who wrote last year’s hit comedy Game Night starring Bateman and Rachel McAdams. Bateman is also expected to play some kind of supporting role in the feature, which puts the Ozark star back in business with Netflix. Bateman is also producing with his Aggregate Films partner Michael Costigan via their Netflix production deal, and they’ll be joined by industry vets Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project follows a family that gets stuck in an abandoned movie studio where the sets come to life, trapping them in various old movies. It sounds like Bateman’s answer to Night at the Museum, albeit with a pop culture twist, but regardless of what the tone ends up being, I like this comic pairing on paper.
Cena is coming off a strong year in which he starred in the Universal comedy Blockers and Paramount’s blockbuster Bumblebee, a sequel to which is already in development. He’ll soon be seen opposite Jackie Chan in the action movie Project X-Traction, and he recently signed on to star in the family comedy Playing With Fire, which starts shooting next month. Cena also lends his voice to the upcoming Robert Downey Jr. movie The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.
Perez is a writer who has really persevered in this business, having waited 12 years between writing credits. Before Game Night hit big in 2018, his last produced feature was the 2006 comedy Accepted starring Justin Long. He’s currently writing a live-action Carmen Sandiego movie that will see Gina Rodriguez return as the character for Netflix. Like Cena, Perez is also represented by ICM Partners.
The Netflix project will serve as Bateman’s second feature as a director following the 2013 comedy Bad Words, though he has also directed numerous episodes of Ozark. He’s repped by CAA and Lighthouse Management.
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