This Legendary Ranger Sniper Prepped John Cena For His New War Film

Entertainment
John Cena in THE WALL

John Cena told Task & Purpose in a recent interview that former Army Ranger Nicholas “The Reaper” Irving played a big role on the set of his upcoming film “The Wall.”


“Having Irving on set really helped make sure that we were tactically in place do we didn’t do injustice to our service men and woman,” Cena said.

Irving served as a direct-action sniper with the 3rd Ranger Battalion for most of his Army career, from 2004 to 2009. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, and ultimately racked up enough kills (33) to earn him his famous nickname. He’s written two books about his experiences at war, “The Reaper,” and “Way of the Reaper.” NBC is currently developing a miniseries based on his battlefield exploits.

Nicholas IrvingPhoto via Facebook | Nicholas Irving

In “The Wall,” which was directed by Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”) and debuts in theaters nationwide on May 12, Cena and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick Ass”) play two Army Ranger snipers who find themselves in a tense standoff with an enemy sniper. Set in Iraq in 2007, the duo has been dispatched on a mission into the desert to investigate the killing of a group of contractors. All of them have been shot, more or less, in the head. The culprit may or may not be the deadliest sniper in Iraq — and whoever he is, he’s still there. Cena finds that out first the hard way.

Cena had previously worked with Irving on the set of the reality competition television series “American Grit, ” and he says that Irving’s contributions to the film weren’t limited to tactics: His presence on the set also ensured that the military lingo and mannerisms deployed throughout the film are as realistic as possible.

John Cena in THE WALLPhoto by David James / Courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

“Nick helped a whole hell of a lot on that,” Cena told Task & Purpose. “I know that Aaron studied his ass off as far as consuming knowledge relevant to the script and also learning all of the acronyms and the slang. And then me, having hung around that element a bit, I could easily go back and forth.”

As for weapons training, Cena says he’s had the privilege of training with elite soldiers in the past.

“I’ve been lucky over the course of my career to be in some pretty wonderful situations with some high-skilled tacticians, and I’ve been able to go through some skills training and some range training with the U.S. military’s finest.”

“Nick is always asking me to come down to shoot,” he added. “The problem is time. Time is my greatest luxury, and it also seems to slip away from me the fastest.”

You can read the full interview with John Cena here.

Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.

Read More Show Less
In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader, second left, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow, Russia. (Associated Press/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.

The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.

Read More Show Less
Joe Heller (Legacy.com)

Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.

"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.

The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.

Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.

Read More Show Less

A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.

William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.

He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

Read More Show Less
A photograph circulated by the U.S. State Department's Twitter account to announce a $1 million USD reward for al Qaeda key leader Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, is seen March 1, 2019. (State Department via Reuters)

Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.

Read More Show Less