Is the undisclosed role that John Cena is playing in Bumblebee, a G.I. Joe? This would make the film a huge crossover and get the shared Hasbro universe going. Bumblebee is a very peculiar Transformers movie, but, it still has the usual plot element of army intrigue and trouble which the franchise is famous for, courtesy of Bumblebee’s new friend Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) who is pursued by the Transformers military group, Sector – 7, led by Agent Burns (John Cena).
This is not just a change of direction from the Michael Bay helmed Transformers movies, but, also a step towards a new future. Paramount Pictures and Hasbro aim to revitalize their joint property on the silver screen and plan to create a shared universe featuring Transformers, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, and M.A.S.K. the endeavour started back in 2015 when they set up a writers room, and now it might evolve after Bumblebee’s release.
The future of G.I. Joe franchise is not defined at present. While there is a third film listed for a 2020 release, but, we don’t know if Dwayne Johnson will come back as Roadblock, and if it will be a sequel to the past two films, as an official announcement is still awaited. It is quite possible that G.I. Joe 3 might be another step towards the establishment of a shared Hasbro universe, especially now that we hear that the new director D.J. Caruso has created a script that links with the Transformers. Caruso had mentioned that Paramount and Hasbro were unwilling to do so, indicating that Michael Bay might still be involved with the franchise (he is a producer of Bumblebee), but, this problem might no longer exist.
In case G.I. Joe 3 is not another solo film, it might turn out to be a soft reboot of the franchise, while continuing with the leading actor Johnson, and it would incorporate the Transformers into its world, courtesy of the speculated introduction in Bumblebee. So what will be the takeaway from turning Bumblebee into a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover? The answer might come in the form of John Cena’s character Agent Burns being the original G.I. Joe in this prequel based in 1987.
Will we see John Cena as a G.I. Joe in Bumblebee?
Until now, we haven’t got information about the character John Cena is playing in Bumblebee. The trailers suggest that he is playing the Sector – 7 Agent Burns, chasing Bumblebee in California. The story shows him and the other automaton-alien observers. Sector -7 has been influenced by Decepticons into believing that Bumblebee is a war criminal and it is now trying to capture or kill the leading Autobot. It is expected that his story arc will feature the typical redemption narrative, wherein Burns will discover that Bumblebee is the good guy and he will support him somehow (since his motives would have always been honest, the way a soldier dedicated to his country/planet’s security would have been).
Past theories indicate that his character’s name referred to a planned connection to the 1980s cartoon M.A.S.K. which was also reportedly in contention for the crossover, but, now that the Bumblebee trailer has revealed the scar of Burns, we think that if there is going to be any crossover, then it has to be G.I. Joe. We must recall that the original G.I. Joe toys had a facial scar on the right cheek as a tool to prevent any cheap copies of the human body, since it is not legally trademarked.
The scar has been an identifying feature of the G.I. Joe since then, and was even a part of the appearance of one of their leading characters Duke, in 1983. Channing Tatum played Duke in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and he had proudly displayed the peculiar scar. Therefore, we think it is mandatory when they introduce G.I. Joe to the big screen. So we wonder whether John Cena would really be portraying an original G.I. Joe in the upcoming movie version of the franchise, and Sector-7 being the 80s version of the organization that creates the Joes as a proper team in the modern day?