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SYFY WIRE Peacemaker

Inspiration from 'The Office'? Casting intel? James Gunn digs into 'Peacemaker' secrets

He also ribs Robert Patrick for his dance moves.

By James Comtois
Peacemaker Opening Sequence PRESS

Do you wanna taste it? Peacemaker showrunner James Gunn hosted a watch party for the fourth episode of the HBO Max series on social media Saturday, where he filled folks in on the writing process and insights to the series. Using the hashtag #Peacemakerparty, Gunn answered fan questions and revealed some fun tidbits and trivia.

When one fan asked how Freddie Stroma got cast as Vigilante, Gunn replied: “he auditioned. I didn’t know what he was, but when they told me he was the Prince on Bridgerton I was like oh yeah that guy. He auditioned with one of the car scenes from today & then the prison scene with Auggie in a callback.”

Meanwhile, another member of the cast, Robert Patrick, was someone Gunn had in mind for the role of Peacekeeper’s white supremacist father before casting. “I saw @robertpatrickT2 on Perry Mason when I was first thinking about making PM & I was like ‘oh wow he’d be perfect for PM’s dad!’ - I wrote it for him. Fortunately he was available,” Gunn explainedAnother viewer asked how much of Peacekeeper’s lines are improvised by actor John Cena, to which Gunn tweeted: “Maybe 2%, which is WAY more than any actor has ever had in anything I’ve written.” Now, as for that post-credits human duck scene, according to Gunn: “Most of that was written and some of it (‘I don’t have a duck I have a soul’) was something I said to him on the day we shot it. I keep a microphone by my side all through shooting so I can yell out any new dialogue I want people to say.”

And that scene where Vigilante sits down with those white supremacists to goad them into fighting, was “Word for word from the script.” They also “did a lot of takes,” because Gunn “knew it was important to show that Adrian, although incompetent at almost everything, is a savant when it comes to murder.” In fact, Gunn explained that he “think[s] of Vigilante as a little bit like Steve Carell in The Office. Such a dingus in so many ways but surprisingly good at his job in many moments.”

Gunn provides some other fun facts on his Twitter feed during the watch party, from when he knew Faster Pussycat’s House of Pain would be used in one scene, to the drawing he made for the choreographer & animators on where Eagly should be finding his mark at the end of the dance sequence. He even ribs Patrick for his dance moves in the opening credits, which Patrick, of course, takes in stride (man, Peacemaker’s dad really is the worst)!

Peacemaker is comprised of eight episodes, all of which were written by Gunn, and he directed five of them. Jody Hill, Rosemary Rodriguez, and Brad Anderson handled the other three. 

The first four episodes of Peacemaker are now streaming on HBO Max, with the remaining four installments dropping on a weekly basis.