As Amazon exec Bob Berney was introducing Doug Liman’s The Wall, suddenly in a blast of smoke John Cena burst onstage the same way he did for 20th Century Fox’s Ferdinand — with a burst of fog and blaring trumpets. “Besides the fog and blaring trumpets, my name is John Cena and I’m in the storytelling business … there is nothing better when you can tell a story that resonates with your audience and you can take your passion and tell the story,” he said.

The story of director Liman’s The Wall revolves around military men who come under sniper fire and are hit — and they hit the proverbial wall trying to survive.

“Doug Liman is crazy … crazy to the point of being a genius,” said Cena, talking about getting the cast together. “He made this movie for next to nothing. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Spencer Thomas also star.

“I know when you see it, you are going to enjoy it,” he told exhibitors. “You can have the greatest story in the world, but if you have no place to show it, the movie is up a creek without a paddle. You are the most important part of all of this. You are the instrument in which we tell it, and without you, I am up a creek without a paddle. There is passion in this, and I believe audiences around the world will feel it … and they will feel it because you allow them to.”

War drama The Wall hits theaters May 12.