Did Marvel Miss Out On John Cena, And Is DC Winning The Superhero Game?

Explore John Cena’s superhero journey, from facing rejections in the Marvel universe to finding success as Peacemaker in the DC Universe

By Amitabh Mukherji
September 27,2023
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John Cena, the former professional wrestler turned Hollywood star, has made a significant impact on the superhero genre, but it wasn’t an easy journey. Despite his physique and fanbase, Cena faced rejection from various superhero roles, including a notable one in the Marvel universe. Here’s a look at his path from rejections to becoming Peacemaker.

Rejections in the Marvel Universe: The Missed Opportunity in Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2

John Cena’s potential as a superhero was evident to fans long before he landed a superhero role. However, it took until 2021’s “The Suicide Squad” for him to step into the world of superheroes. During a podcast appearance, Cena revealed that he had been rejected for multiple superhero roles, including one in Ryan Reynolds‘ “Deadpool 2.” While he confirmed that Cable was the role he missed out on in “Deadpool 2,” Cena remained tight-lipped about the other Marvel projects that slipped through his fingers.

The Unexpected Opportunity: How James Gunn Brought Cena to the DC Universe


Despite previous rejections and near-misses, John Cena’s superhero journey took a turn when he crossed paths with James Gunn. Gunn, known for his storytelling prowess, offered Cena the role of Peacemaker. Cena’s casting happened almost by accident, as he wasn’t the initial choice. Gunn’s enthusiasm for the character and a chance meeting in his pre-production office led to Cena’s unexpected entry into the DC Universe. This opportunity not only marked a significant milestone for Cena but also set the stage for the successful series “Peacemaker.”

As fans eagerly anticipate “Peacemaker” Season 2, Cena’s journey from facing rejections to becoming a beloved superhero character serves as a testament to his perseverance and the unpredictability of Hollywood’s casting decisions.