John Cena & Kathy Bates Join Brian Cox & Jodie Turner-Smith In Political Thriller ‘The Independent’; Bates To Play America’s First Female President


Oscar winner Kathy Bates (American Horror Story) and former WWE star John Cena (F9: The Fast Saga) are joining Brian Cox (Succession) and Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) in political thriller feature The Independent.

Set during “the final weeks of the most consequential presidential election in history”, the movie will follow an idealistic young journalist (Turner-Smith) who teams up with her idol (Cox) to uncover a conspiracy that places the fate of the election, and the country, in their hands. Misery and Richard Jewell star Bates will play the U.S.’s first female President. The Suicide Squad star Cena plays the lead role of Nate Sterling, the independent presidential candidate.

The Black List script is due to film in November of this year in NYC. Director is Amy Rice (By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama), who is currently wrapping documentary Broadway Rising. Pic is written by Evan Parter, who is currently writing the untitled John Dean movie with Chris Pine for Amazon.

Ryan Cunningham of Anonymous Content and Sam Bisbee of Park Pictures and Thea Dunlap are producing alongside Caddy Vanasirikul of The Exchange and Evan Parter.


Lance Acord and Jackie Kelman Bisbee of Park Pictures and Brian O’Shea and Nat McCormick of The Exchange are serving as executive producers. Sales firm The Exchange is financing and handling sales.

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“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Kathy Bates and John Cena on The Independent. Kathy’s exceptional acting skills, paired with Cena’s global appeal and ability to transform on-screen, make them incredible additions to this film. We couldn’t be happier that they’ve signed on,” said O’Shea of The Exchange.

The Exchange’s line-up includes Kaley Cuoco’s Meet Cute and Morgan Freeman’s Muti.

Bates and Cena are represented by ICM Partners.

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