John Cena's Barbie role confirmed in new CinemaCon footage

John Cena in Vacation Friends
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

We now know who John Cena is playing in the Barbie movie – and it’s a unique Ken doll.

As revealed during this year’s CinemaCon presentation, Cena is playing a merman version of Ken. The last doll released in that line was Mattel’s King Ocean Ken doll in 2021. We already know that Dua Lipa is playing Mermaid Barbie in the Greta Gerwig-directed toy story, set for release on July 21.

New footage was also shown off at the Las Vegas event (via Vulture), which sees Margot Robbie’s Barbie head to the real world after encountering Kate McKinnon’s ‘Weird Barbie’. Unfortunately for Barbie, reality is a harsh place – and she is “repeatedly arrested” 

"These actors can do anything," Gerwig said of her expansive cast, which includes the likes of Ryan Gosling, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Issa Rae, and Emma Mackey . "They took it so seriously. The humor came from taking everything to heart and then playing it like it’s a drama. It was like watching Marlon Brando play Ken."

Cena, meanwhile, isn’t just content with living in a Barbie world. He’s next set to appear in Fast 10 – the penultimate chapter of the Fast Saga. The Peacemaker actor is also gearing up for a new action comedy with Jason Momoa, plus an Amazon movie with Simu Liu and Awkwafina.

Catch up on all the CinemaCon news so far, including the first reactions to The Flash, Across the Spider-Verse footage, and news of Kraven the Hunter being Sony’s first R-Rated Spider-Man movie. For more on what’s coming to cinemas this year, check out our guide to upcoming movies.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.