Idris Elba and John Cena will soon be blowing things up in James Gunn’s team-on-a-mission superhero movie The Suicide Squad, and the actors are already planning a reunion on a different action film altogether.
Elba and Cena will star in Heads of State, a 1990s-style action pitch that Amazon Studios has just acquired.
Deadline reports that Idris Elba (The Dark Tower, The Wire) and John Cena (Bumblebee) participated in a Zoom pitch along with writer Harrison Query and producers Peter Safran (Shazam!) and John Rickard (Rampage). Amazon liked what they saw and reportedly moved quickly to lock down the project and take it off the table for future bidding by rivals.
Plot details are scarce at this point, but the outlet reports that Heads of State is apparently “a ’90s style two-hander, a high octane premise that has a bit of Air Force One meets Hobbs and Shaw, bringing together an odd couple in a high stakes situation.” That’s a bit of a cheesy zone which requires a masterful sense of tone, but no director is on board yet. Still, that’s proven to be a cinematic sweet spot for former professional wrestler Cena, who’s also appearing in the upcoming F9, and I was just remarking earlier this week about how I hoped Elba would lean into the idea of starring in more cheesy action movies and become the heir apparent to Liam Neeson. While the Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw desperately wanted to be a modern version of the 1989 Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell cop movie Tango & Cash, I’m hopeful that this movie will be able to better modernize that template and give us a more entertaining dynamic between these two leads than whatever The Rock and Jason Statham were doing in Hobbs and Shaw.
Writer Harrison Query doesn’t have any produced credits to his name yet, but he made some waves earlier this year when it was announced that he would be writing the screenplay for My Wife and I Bought a Ranch, a film adaptation of a horror story that his brother, Matt Query, wrote and published on Reddit. Harrison is also set to co-write a film called War Party with Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), which is a Navy SEAL movie that has Tom Hardy attached to star.
Shooting on Heads of State is slated to begin in January 2021.
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