The next action movie from Nobody coxswain Ilya Naishuller will feature two big names with Idris Elbe and John Cena attached to the main roles. Last year, Elba and Cena appeared together in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and their interactions created some of the film’s most entertaining moments. More of their on-screen chemistry will be on display during Heads of State, a new action-comedy movie in the works at Amazon Studios with Naishuller in the director’s chair. By THRPeter Safran, who was just named co-CEO and co-president of DC Studios alongside Gunn, is producing the film with John Rickard of The Safran Company.
The screenplay for the film was originally written by Harrison Query (My wife and I bought a ranch) with revisions by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (the next Netflix Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley). In the film, Elba and Cena will play unlikely partners who are “over their heads in a high-stakes situation.” No other details have yet been revealed about the film’s plot, but it’s said to have a vibe that’s akin to “Air Force One meets midnight race.”
Besides having popular names in lead roles, Heads of State will also draw intrigue with Naishuller in the director’s chair. Last year, the director released the hit action movie Nobodywhich was written by John Wick creator Derek Kolstad and featured You better call Saul star Bob Odenkirk as the unlikely vigilante. There has since been talk about this movie having a sequel. Naishuller also directed the one-off action movie Hard Henry which was shown from the protagonist’s first-person perspective.
John Cena and Idris Elba to Reunite for Heads of State
While they’ll be playing different characters, the film looks promising with Idris Elba and John Cena leading the way. Their scenes together in The Suicide Squad were very entertaining, and Elba talked about the dynamic he had working with Cena on the film. Maybe some of that magic will be recreated for Heads of State.
“It was a really nice experience to explore. If I’m being honest, that’s one of the things that developed,” Elba said, via The Illuminati. “When you read the script, you kind of see the natural rivalry between John and me and James [Gunn] and the natural dynamic of the whole team. John and I were really drawn to this natural type of d*ck-swing competition which was just a lot of fun. So for us, it was really, really fun and James was going to really encourage Idris and John to really bring Peacemaker and Bloodsport to the screen. I loved every minute.”
Of their two characters, Cena added, “They have the same skill set and I think that’s really starting to fuel the escalation. They really want to fight for that Alpha position, whereas other superheroes don’t necessarily have to compete as much because they have definable characteristics. And I think that little journey between Bloodsport and Peacemaker that, throughout the movie, really creates some good comedic moments and a wonderful one-upmanship.
Heads of State does not yet have a release date.