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SYFY WIRE Peacemaker

HBO Max really wants a taste of 'Peacemaker,' renews 'The Suicide Squad' spinoff for Season 2

James Gunn, John Cena, and the rest of the crew are locked in to return.

By Josh Weiss
Peacemaker Opening Sequence PRESS

HBO Max is not yet done with Christopher Smith, aka Peacemaker. The character's spinoff series from last summer's The Suicide Squad will officially return for a second season, the WarnerMedia streaming platform confirmed Wednesday.

The exciting news comes a day before the show (led by John Cena) is set to air its Season 1 finale. We've known for quite a while that a renewal was coming — it was only a matter of time. For the last month, audiences made it clear they couldn't get enough of the adult-oriented humor and bizarrely memorable characters wrapped around a deeply emotional core and a soundtrack full of curated hair metal music. The Suicide Squad and by extension, Peacemaker, have been just the irreverent, Guardians-style shot in the arm the DC Extended Universe so desperately needed. Need more proof? Just watch the opening title sequence.

"Creating Peacemaker has been one of the true highlights of my life, both professionally and otherwise, with John Cena and the incredible creative team around me, as well as our partners at HBO Max," creator, director, and executive producer James Gunn said in a statement. "To have something we all love so much be loved by the audience in turn has been a wonderful experience. I can’t wait for folks to see where Team Peacemaker goes in Season 2!”

The brilliance of James Gunn once again shines with Peacemaker," added Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max. "He took this character, brought to life by the inimitable John Cena, and created an exceptional series that’s simultaneously thrilling, hilarious and heartfelt, showcasing the humanity beneath this team of misfits living in a superhuman world. As the first original DC show to have its series premiere on HBO Max, we are thrilled that the viewers agreed to give peace a f***ing chance.”

Set in the aftermath of Peacemaker's betrayal of Task Force X on Corto Maltese, the series drops the titular antihero into a brand-new mission, whose sole purpose is to prevent another alien invasion of the planet. Instead of a giant Starfish, however, Chris and his team (made up of Amada Waller's most trusted operatives) must find a way to defeat the Butterflies, insectoid aliens that take over the brains of powerful humans.

Taking to heart what Rick Flagg said about his persona being a complete joke, Peacemaker starts to realize how the big-headed showboat facade he put on in The Suicide Squad might turn him off to other people. The introduction of his incredibly racist and emotionally abusive father, Auggie Smith/White Dragon (Robert Patrick), helps him along this path of self-acceptance.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled by the response to Peacemaker and the experience of playing this character," Cena said. "Thank you to James Gunn, Peter Safran, HBO Max, the crew, and my cast mates who worked tirelessly to make this unforgettable series."

Danielle Brooks (Leota Odebayo), Freddie Stroma (Vigilante), Jennifer Holland (Emilia Harcourt), Chukwudi Iwuji (Clemson Murn), Steve Agee (John Economos) round out the cast. 

Since Gunn is currently in the midst of shooting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Marvel Studios down in Atlanta, it's likely that production on Season 2 of Peacemaker won't begin for quite some time. Of course, it wouldn't surprise us if the director's been secretly writing new episodes in his spare time. This is the dude who wrote the entire first season for his own enjoyment during COVID lockdown before it was even green-lit. He ended up directing five out of the eight chapters, including the first.

He's also developing another DC television project based on The Suicide Squad. “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," the writer-director teased last month.

Gunn serves as an executive producer alongside Peter Safran and Matt Miller. John Cena and Stacy Littlejohn are co-executive producer and consulting producer respectively. The Season 1 finale of Peacemaker arrives on HBO Max tomorrow — Thursday, Feb. 17.