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SYFY WIRE Peacemaker

Peacemaker: John Cena gets taken down a peg or two in first clip from James Gunn's The Suicide Squad spinoff

By Josh Weiss
Peacemaker Still

HBO Max knows exactly what it's doing with the very first clip from James Gunn's Peacemaker series. The last time we saw John Cena's freedom-loving hero in The Suicide Squad, he was sticking a knife right into Rick Flagg's heart.

Such a move probably didn't endear him to many audience members, so Gunn takes the character down a peg or two during a hilarious meeting with a number of allies keeping him out of prison: Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), John Economos, (Steve Agee), and Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji). Both Harcourt and Economos appeared in The Suicide Squad as members of Amanda Waller's operations team. 

The group wastes no time in pointing out how ridiculous Peacemaker's whole shtick is — from his ostentatious costume to his pet bald eagle named "Eagly." Placing Peacemaker into a "normal" setting only makes him seem weirder — and Gunn nails the tone balance here.

"Peacemaker has a lot of issues, so I don’t sit down and think I have to make him likable," Gunn said last month. "I want to make him fully-fledged. He has a lot to learn."

Watch the clip below:

“I found something really interesting about Peacemaker because one, I loved working with Cena," Gunn explained. “And he’s a cool interesting character pertinent to today’s world in terms of his backwards way of looking at things.”

Written and directed by the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker, the series is produced by Peter Safran. Robert Patrick (Peacemaker's dad, Auggie Smith) and Chris Conrad (Adrian Chase/Vigilante) co-star.

Production kicked off in Canada at the start of 2021.

Peacemaker will bring peace at any gosh-darned cost when it premieres on HBO Max Jan. 16, 2022. We expect a proper, full trailer will drop during the show's panel at DC FanDome's second annual edition on Saturday, Oct. 16.