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SYFY WIRE Peacemaker

John Cena, James Gunn bring 'Peacemaker' to HBO Max with Suicide Squad spinoff series

By Matthew Jackson
John Cena Peacemaker The Suicide Squad

Next year, James Gunn will make his presence felt in the DC Extended Universe with The Suicide Squad, a wild new take on the comic book team that first hit the big screen in 2016. Now we know the mayhem won't end there, because Gunn and The Suicide Squad star John Cena are taking Cena's character Peacemaker to HBO Max.

The streaming service announced early Wednesday that it's given an eight-episode, straight-to-series order to Peacemaker, a series that will "explore the origins" of the character Cena has called "a douchey Captain America," and Gunn has called "the guy who believes in peace at any cost, no matter how many people he needs to kill along the way."

Gunn is set to write all eight episodes of the series, and direct several of them, including the premiere. Plus, HBO Max's press release notes that production on the series is set to launch early next year, before Gunn heads back over to Marvel to work on the third Guardians of the Galaxy film. So, clearly, Warner Bros. is eager for more of Gunn's wild Suicide Squad world. 

HBO Max Peacemaker teaser

Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag," Gunn said in a statement. "I’m excited to expand The Suicide Squad and bring this character from the DC film universe to the full breadth of a series. And of course, to be able to work again with John, [producer Peter Safran], and my friends at Warner Bros. is the icing on the cake.”

Created in 1966 by Joe Gill and Pat Boyette, Peacemaker was originally set up at Charlton Comics before he was roped into the DC Universe. Peacemaker was originally a pacifist diplomat who used force through non-lethal weaponry, before various pieces of his backstory warped him into a full-fledged violent vigilante. These days, that "loving peace so much he'll kill for it" ethos makes him reliable fodder for a certain level of comedic commentary on the military industrial complex, which seems to be what Gunn's version is aiming for, at least in the little pieces of footage we've seen.

Oh, he also has a rad silver helmet, which deserves as much screentime as possible. 

“I have said before that it has been a tremendous honor and an incredible opportunity to be part of The Suicide Squad and to work with James on what is going to be a fantastic movie," Cena said. "I am unbelievably excited to have the chance to team up with him again for Peacemaker. We can’t wait for fans to see this.”

The Suicide Squad hits theaters Aug. 6, 2021. Peacemaker does not yet have a release date.