In 2015, Valiant Entertainment signed a nine-figure deal to produce film and television content based on their comic book properties, with an eye to creating a shared cinematic universe of their own. It took five years for their first project to make it to the big screen, and it would be fair to say the results were less than stellar.
Although some of the circumstances weren’t exactly within their control due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot failed to even crack $10 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend in the wake of largely tepid critical reactions, and despite the star’s insistence that it get released in the midst of a global crisis, the movie only spent two weeks in theaters before being hastily made available for digital download.
This led to speculation that the Valiant Cinematic Universe was already finished, with Paramount said to be interested in buying the rights to the character back from Sony. Not only that, but there’s even the chance that the studio could get rid of Diesel and reboot Bloodshot entirely, in what would surely be record-breaking time.
While we haven’t heard much more on that front just yet, we have been told by our sources today – the same ones who correctly informed us that Han was returning to the Fast & Furious franchise and that National Treasure 3 was in the works – that John Cena is reportedly being eyed to play X-O Manowar in the planned second attempt at building the franchise. It’s unclear if he’ll have the time to do it given his other commitments and the fact that he’s extremely in-demand right now, with the actor also wanted for the Doom reboot, but he’s certainly someone they’re interested in.
The problem with the Valiant characters though is that they’re largely unknown to casual audiences, and Bloodshot bombing could make any associated properties a much harder sell. Cena is definitely a star on the rise, but we’ve yet to see if the 42 year-old has the name value or popularity to open a movie based on his name alone, never mind while he’s playing a relatively obscure comic book hero like X-O Manowar. Still, he’d certainly be an interesting choice for the role and as soon as we learn more, we’ll be sure to let you know.