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John Cena Political Thriller ‘The Independent’ to Skip Theaters for Peacock

U Can C John Cena, Brian Cox, Ann Dowd, and Jodie Turner-Smith when the Amy Rice film begins streaming on November 2.

The Independent John Cena


Matt Infante

Peacock has landed the rights to stream “The Independent,” a political thriller that stars John Cena, “Succession’s” Brian Cox, Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), and Jodie Turner-Smith (“Queen & Slim”). The film from Relativity Media and director Amy Rice will skip theaters and stream exclusively on Peacock beginning next week on November 2, just ahead of midterm elections.

“The Independent” follows a young journalist (Turner-Smith) who discovers a conspiracy involving a U.S. Presidential candidate that could change the election and the fate of the country in an election in which America would be poised to elect either its first female president (Dowd, who replaced Kathy Bates in the role) or its first viable (and jacked, presumably) independent candidate (Cena). Turner-Smith’s character teams up with a legendary journalist (Cox) to unravel the political conspiracy surrounding the election.

Rice directed the film from a script by Evan Parter. Executive producing “The Independent” are Laura Grange, Julia Stuart, Brian Cox, Jodie Turner-Smith, John Cena, Blair Ward, Anders Erdén, Eric Harbert, Bill Kiely, Whitney Moehle, Michael Arrieta, Marc Danon, David Robbins, Lex Miron, Amy Jarvela, Charles Stiefel, Brian O’Shea, Giovanna Trischitta, Nat McCormick, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Lance Acord, and Cody Ryder. Parter produces along with Sam Bisbee, Theodora Dunlap, Caddy Vanasirikul, and Ryan Cunningham.

The film is a production of Park Pictures, Anonymous Content, and NEXT Productions, in Association with Orogen Entertainment and The Exchange. “The Independent” joins other Universal titles that have now found a home on Peacock, including “Beast,” “Jurassic World Dominion,” “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” “Vengeance,” “Brian and Charles,” “The Black Phone,” “Downton Abbey: A New Era” and “The Northman,” as well as original titles like the LGBTQ+ horror thriller “They/Them.”

Cena’s role as a (fake) presidential candidate will be released weeks after his former WWE rival (and a bit of an actor himself, if you haven’t heard) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson put to bed any remaining notion that he would be running for (real) President of the United States of America. Johnson said the idea was “off the table” and that “the most important thing” to him at this time is “being a daddy.”

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