Kevin Hart’s “Die Hart” action-hero spoof is bringing in some fresh faces for Season 2 of the Roku original comedy: John Cena, Ben Schwartz and Paula Pell have joined the cast of “Die Hart 2: Die Harter,” the streaming company announced.
In addition to the new cast, Nathalie Emmanuel will reprise her role in Season 2. Eric Appel returns to direct with Tripper Clancy returning as writer. Production of “Die Hart 2: Die Harter” has begun in Atlanta. The series will stream free (with ads) on the Roku Channel but a premiere date has not been set.
More from Variety
In “Die Hart” Season 1, which co-starred John Travolta, Hart played a fictionalized version of himself who ultimately achieved his dream of becoming a bona-fide action hero. In the second season, Hart now wants to cement his legacy as the greatest action star of all time. He’s developed a concept for a revolutionary movie where the action is so unscripted and unexpected that even Kevin won’t know what’s coming next. But Kevin’s vision comes with a blind spot, and he soon finds himself the victim of an evil revenge plot, orchestrated by someone from his past. To survive, Hart must enlist the help of his favorite co-star, Jordan King (Emmanuel), his overeager assistant Andre (Schwartz), Andre’s mom Cynthia (Pell) and legendary Hollywood stuntman Mr. 206 (Cena).
“I’m so happy to be back in Atlanta working with Kevin, Nathalie and our incredible new cast members,” Appel said. “The scope of this second season feels a lot bigger — it’s funnier, it’s more action packed and our fictional version of Kevin Hart is 100 times more petty and selfish in his ongoing quest to become an ‘authentic’ action hero.”
Cena is a WWE Superstar whose credits include “Peacemaker,” “The Suicide Squad,” “F9: The Fast Saga” and “Vacation Friends.” Schwartz is best known for his role on “Parks and Recreation”; he has appeared in “The Afterparty” and “Space Force” and is the voice of “Sonic the Hedgehog” in Paramount’s film franchise. Pell was a longtime writer on “Saturday Night Live,” with acting credits including “Girls5eva,” “AP Bio” and “Big Mouth.”
Season 1 of “Die Hart” premiered on the Roku Channel in May 2021 after the company picked up the show through its acquisition of the assets of Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi, after the short-form video subscription business shut down. Roku said a record number of households streamed the series in its debut and ordered a second season, becoming the first Roku original series that the company renewed.
Hart also serves as executive producer of “Die Hart 2.” His Hartbeat media company produces the series and Harbeat’s Jeff Clanagan, Candice Wilson Cherry, Bryan Smiley, Thai Randolph, Mike Stein, Luke Kelly-Clyne, Kevin Healey and Ty Walker will serve as executive producers.
Season 1 of “Die Hart” earned three Emmy nominations in 2021 in short-form series categories for actor (Kevin Hart and John Travolta) and actress (Nathalie Emmanuel).
“This franchise has leveled up with the return of Nathalie Emmanuel and Kevin Hart and the addition of Paula Pell, Ben Schwartz and John Cena,” commented Colin Davis, head of scripted originals for the Roku Channel. “The set has been filled with nonstop laughter from this concoction of comedy talent, and it’s just the latest example of our incredible creative relationship and growing partnership with Hartbeat.”
Hartbeat chief content officer Bryan Smiley added, “Hartbeat is excited to expand on the hilarious, action-packed world our cast and creative team have established. The feedback we’ve received from fans who continue to discover and binge the series has been incredible and is a testament to the Roku Channel’s incredible audience reach.“
Pictured above (l. to r.): Kevin Hart, John Cena, Ben Schwartz, Paula Pell
Best of Variety