James Gunn Breaks Down Peacemaker's Bisexuality Storyline

This year has already seen the introduction of a lot of unique superhero media, beginning with the HBO Max debut of Peacemaker. The series has pulled back the narrative onion that is Christopher Smith / Peacmaker (John Cena), and has revealed some emotional beats along the way. One of the most surprising revelations across the show's first season was that Peacemaker is bisexual, which was revealed in the fight in the penultimate episode between him and his father, Auggie Smith / White Dragon (Robert Patrick). Partway through the fight, Auggie stepped on Chris' chest and began to monologue about all the ways his son had disappointed him. Among them was that Chris "slept with the whores of polluted blood, and men." As series creator James Gunn revealed in a recent interview with Total Film, the confirmation spun out of his and Cena's conversations about the character as a whole, as well as the ways it could further his unlikely dynamic with Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks).

"It was me and John talking about who he is," Gunn explained. "Peacemaker is a hypersexual guy and that has led him to be a sexual omnivore in a lot of ways."

"I think it's interesting because Adebayo is so traditionally liberal in so many ways, but sexually Adebayo is incredibly conservative," Gunn added. "I mean, she's married to one woman. They have a monogamous lifestyle. And Peacemaker sexually is incredibly liberal. He's a hedonist. That it's just who the guy is."

According to Gunn, the idea of Peacemaker being bisexual was partially thanks to Cena improvising on the set of The Suicide Squad 

"Most of the show, and almost all of [The] Suicide Squad, is scripted," Gunn revealed. "But there's always a lot of riffing going on and it helps us get in the mood and throw things down. It was always that that Peacemaker was talking about having sex with both men and women, and he treats them both like sexual conquest in a way."

This served as the most concrete confirmation yet that Chris is bisexual or pansexual, something that the show had been sprinkling in for some time. In the series' very first scene, Chris remarked that he had "no problem" with the idea of Aquaman sleeping with men, but would be offended if he really slept with fish. Later on in that episode, Chris had an awkward heart-to-heart with Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), in which he remarked that he hadn't been intimate with "anyone" since being in prison, and then corrected himself mid-sentence to say that he hadn't "been with any woman." Shortly after the episode initially aired, and as fans began to speculate about the possibility of more positive LGBTQ+ representation in the DC universe, Gunn confirmed in a separate interview that Peacemaker is "not straight."

"She is his polar opposite in so many ways, politically. She's a Black, gay woman," Gunn said of Danielle Brooks' Leota Adebayo. "He's a white, straight — nah, he's not straight — white, whatever-he-is male. And yet they really like each other. They have a lot in common. [...] Peacemaker is an interesting character because he's so f-cked-up in so many ways, and then in other ways, he is kind of weirdly forward-thinking. John does improv all the time, and he just turned Christopher Smith into this hyper-sexualized dude that is open to anything sexually. I was surprised by that. But I thought, 'I guess it makes sense that this guy isn't one-dimensional.'"

The first season of Peacemaker is now available to stream exclusively on HBO Max. Season 2 will arrive at a latter date.