James Gunn has become one of the biggest names in superhero filmmaking thanks to “The Suicide Squad” and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. Now, the director is turning his eyes to streaming television via “Peacemaker,” HBO Max’s upcoming John Cena-led TV series. The show debuts in January on HBO Max.
Cena first portrayed the character, a nationalist killer who loves peace so much that he “doesn’t care how many men, women, and children he has to kill to get it,” in Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad,” which premiered in August. In the film, Peacemaker, real name Christopher Smith, joined the Suicide Squad and was badly injured in a fight with Bloodsport (Idris Elba); the film’s post-credits sequence revealed that Peacemaker was saved and extracted to the United States.
“The Suicide Squad” was full of violence and comedy, and the bloody “Peacemaker” trailer suggests that fans of the film and Cena’s character will be getting more of what made Gunn’s film one of the best-reviewed films to come out of WarnerMedia’s DC Extended Universe superhero franchise. Previous teasers have poked fun at the character’s outlandish uniform and personality, such as in the clip that HBO Max dropped in early October.
Gunn teased that he had ideas for subsequent “Peacemaker” seasons during a panel at the Television Critics Association 2021 Summer Press Tour in September. At the time, Gunn noted that he didn’t expect Cena’s “The Suicide Squad” character to get his own spin-off series but eventually grew to enjoy the character because of Cena’s performance and Peacemaker’s “backward way” of looking at things.
“Peacemaker is almost every guy I grew up with in Missouri,” Gunn said during the TCA panel in September. “Peacemaker has a lot of issues.” At the time, Gunn noted that he didn’t set out to make the character likable and teased that the character could grow over the course of several seasons.
“It wouldn’t take just one season of TV for him to learn that,” Gunn said. “It’s that ability to learn […] that makes him a little bit more likable.”
Check out the trailer for “Peacemaker” below: