James Gunn Reshot Five Episodes of Peacemaker After Actor Change

A last-minute change in actors caused series creator James Gunn to reshoot scenes across five episodes of Peacemaker with Freddie Stroma replacing the previously cast Chris Conrad. In November 2020, Conrad, known for TV roles in Young Hercules and Patriot, joined John Cena in The Suicide Squad spinoff series as the violent Vigilante (a.k.a. tragic anti-hero Adrian Chase of the DC comic books). Months into Peacemaker's 131-day shoot in Canada, Conrad amicably exited the HBO Max Original series over reported "creative differences" and was soon replaced with the Bridgerton and The Crew actor. 

Explaining Conrad's departure in an interview with Screen Rant, Gunn described the impact the actor swap had on the production of Peacemaker

"[Stroma] came in late. We had already shot five-and-a-half episodes with another actor, who's an incredibly talented guy, but we were on different pages about certain things, and I don't think he wanted to continue on the series in the long run," Gunn said. "So we brought Freddie in, five-and-a-half episodes in, and I reshot all of his scenes...we re-shot. I directed all of the scenes with Vigilante in five and a half episodes."

RELATED STORY: Peacemaker Episode 3's Dark Joke About Vigilante's Tragic Comic Book Backstory

Stroma's version of Chase, a masked maniac who dispenses his harsh brand of justice as Vigilante, is "a departure from the Adrian Chase that the DC world knows," the actor said in an exclusive interview with ComicBook. "This is a completely different character. So, I knew that research into Adrian is more out of respect for the character. As for the actual playing of the role, it's what was on the page that James wrote. It's a completely different character. So that's kind of the direction I went in with that."

Five months after recovering from his mission to Corto Maltese in The Suicide Squad, Christopher Smith (Cena) is back to fighting for freedom — his own. 

Recruited by Task Force X shot caller Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) for a world-saving assignment known as Project Butterfly, Smith joins forces with a new squad: handler Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), tech and tactics expert John Economos (Steve Agee), new recruit Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), and team leader Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji). 

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New episodes of DC's Peacemaker premiere Thursdays only on HBO Max.