After first playing the role of the nationalist, peace-loving superhero willing to kill as many people as it takes to promote peace in director James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad,” Cena returns to the character — and Gunn — for Gunn’s eight-episode series for the streamer which debuts January 13. Now the series focuses on Peacemaker and a ragtag team looking to keep the world a safer place, even if sometimes they cause a little damage of their own doing it. And some of that damage, as we see in the trailer, even comes courtesy of Peacemaker’s sidekick, a bald eagle.
Joining Cena as Peacemaker are Danielle Brooks as Adebayo, Freddie Stroma as Vigilante, Jennifer Holland as Harcourt, Chukwudi Iwuji as Murn, Steve Agee as Economos, and Robert Patrick as Auggie Smith.
In addition to writing all eight episodes, Gunn also helms five. And based on the red-band trailer HBO Max released January 1, the series looks to be as sharp, violent, and raucous as “The Suicide Squad” was last year.
“Just because you’re handsome doesn’t mean you’re not a piece of shit,” Harcourt tells Peacemaker in the trailer, which you can watch in the video below.
“You think I’m handsome?” he replies. Hardly your usual superhero response, but Cena makes it both real and funny. In fact, his performance as Peacemaker ultimately won Gunn over to the character during the making of “The Suicide Squad.”
Gunn teased that he had ideas for subsequent “Peacemaker” seasons during a panel at the Television Critics Association 2021 Summer Press Tour in September, calling the character “almost every guy I grew up with in Missouri.”
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.”
“Peacemaker” premieres on HBO Max January 13.