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James Gunn optimistic about 'Peacemaker' S2, confirms second series set in Suicide Squad universe
"There’s a really good chance of that."
Now that Peacemaker has become the most-streamed show on the planet, odds are very good that HBO Max will order a second season of The Suicide Squad spinoff. "There’s a really good chance of that," creator, director, and executive producer James Gunn said during a recent conversation with Deadline. He later continued: "The show is doing extraordinarily well, and we’re excited, we all like doing it, we just need to cross some Ts and dot some Is, which is basically me."
The new series — which debuted its fifth installment earlier today — is set after the slightly botched mission on Corto Maltese. Peacemaker, aka Christopher Smith (John Cena), returns home to the town of Evergreen, only to be dragged back into the shadowy world of cloak and dagger operations led by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Joining a new team comprised of Waller's most trusted agents, the ostentatious antihero is tasked with taking down the Butterflies, insectoid aliens that crawl into the brains of powerful people in order to control global policy. Think Slither (Gunn's 2006 directorial debut) meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
During the aforementioned interview, Gunn once again confirmed that he's working on another DC television project inspired by his big screen reboot of The Suicide Squad. “We’re working on something else now, another TV show that’s connected to that universe,” he teased. “I can’t quite say [what it is yet] ... It is connected to this universe, and I don’t think it will be the same genre as Peacemaker, it won’t be as much a comedy as Peacemaker, but it will be in the same universe."
Per Deadline, that second series is currently in the very early stages of development "with nothing written or green-lit, but HBO Max is said to be high on it based on Gunn’s enthusiasm for the idea."
The filmmaker also voiced his disappointment over Warner Bros.' decision to release the movie on HBO Max the same day it arrived in theaters (this hybrid rollout strategy was applied to all of the studio's big-name titles in 2021). Moreover, The Suicide Squad's box office performance — $167 worldwide against a budget of $185 million — may have also been severely hampered by an upswing in COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant of the virus.
“I wasn’t happy about Suicide Squad going to TV day-and-date, we also happened to come out at the absolute peak of Delta, so it was a difficult decision,” Gunn said. “For the sake of Peacemaker, I’m really glad. It got more subscribers for HBO, billions of people saw it on HBO; for Peacemaker it worked out really well."
The first five episodes of Peacemaker are now streaming on HBO Max. Episode 6 premieres next Thursday, Feb. 3. There will be eight episodes in total. Gunn, who wrote all of them during the COVID lockdown in the spring of 2020, ended up directing five.
Gunn is currently in Atlanta, working on Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is scheduled to open in May 2023. The MCU trilogy capper is set to feature Peacemaker's Chukwudi Iwuji (Clemson Murn) in a rather significant mystery role.