John Cena is the best friend whom Zac Efron never had in the first trailer for Prime Video’s comedy Ricky Stanicky.
Peter Farrelly directed the Amazon MGM Studios feature that begins streaming March 7. The movie follows Dean (Efron) and two lifelong friends who invent an imaginary pal named Ricky Stanicky as someone to blame for a childhood prank gone wrong. The three buddies continue to attribute their mishaps over the years to the nonexistent friend until finally deciding to hire a struggling actor known as “Rock Hard” Rod (Cena) to portray Ricky when their partners want to meet him.
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“Ricky Stanicky isn’t real,” Efron tells Cena, who appears to be taking the gig too far. This leads Cena to explain why he wants to continue playing the part: “My job sucked, I had no friends. But now I have all those things.”
Jermaine Fowler, Andrew Santino, Lex Scott Davis, Anja Savcic, Jeff Ross and William H. Macy round out the cast. Farrelly, whose recent directing credits include The Greatest Beer Run Ever and the Oscar-winning Green Book, helmed the film from a script credited to Farrelly, Jeff Bushell, Brian Jarvis, James Lee Freeman, Pete Jones and Mike Cerrone.
Ricky Stanicky has endured a long development process. Bushell’s original script landed on the Black List back in 2010, and the project previously had such stars as James Franco and Jim Carrey attached for the titular role.
Efron earned acclaim for his role in last year’s movie The Iron Claw. Cena appeared in a wide variety of 2023 film titles including Fast X, Barbie and Vacation Friends 2, and he has a part in next month’s spy comedy Argylle.
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