Peacemaker Making-of Goes Behind the Scenes of Opening Credits Dance Number

Peacemaker series creator James Gunn and star John Cena take you behind-the-scenes of the "iconic" opening credits sequence in a new featurette from HBO Max. Scripted by Gunn and choreographed by Charissa Barton, who calls the expressionless and robotic style "the Peacemaker Groove," the dance number set to Wig Wam's "Do Ya Wanna Taste It" is a throwback to "'80s glam hair band metal," says Cena. Adds Gunn, curator of the official Peacemaker soundtrack playlist and the "Awesome" mixes of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, "I always have dance sequences in everything I've ever done." 

Barton "created something that's reminiscent of those old comic books, where you see the guys go, 'Pow!' And they move in these very angular ways," says Chukwudi Iwuji, who plays the ultra-serious mercenary Clemson Murn. According to the choreographer, the Peacemaker Groove is influenced by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and "rooted in modern dance, combined with maybe a little bit of street-style."

"I'm very excited to be able to create an opening that was very, very different from anything else on TV, and anything else in the DC world, for sure," says Gunn in the behind-the-scenes making-of. 

The series writer and creator previously revealed the origins of the so-called Peacemaker Groove on HBO Max's Podly: The Peacemaker Podcast, explaining the scripted dance sequence was a part of Peacemaker "from the beginning" and has a hidden meaning that won't become clear until the season finale. 

"I really just wanted something very, very weird. I remember [Leota Adebayo actor] Danielle Brooks coming to me and going, 'What are we doing? What is this?' And I'm like, 'Just look totally serious. You're not having fun, just be very, very, very, very serious,'" Gunn said with a laugh. "And telling Charissa, 'We gotta make the dance as ridiculous as it could possibly be while they remain completely serious.'"

Fans have since called the musical sequence "one of the greatest credits ever put on TV" and "unskippable." 

"One of the fun things that you'll see as you watch the episodes of the series is [the opening credits] plays a different role in every episode," said Gunn. "I know people are going to be able to skip over it — I hope they don't — because it plays a different role in every [episode]. It just always tells a different story. You'll see as our story gets darker, and deeper, and more sad, that the dance itself kind of becomes more sad and more serious and less funny. So it's interesting to see in that way."

Starring John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, Jennifer Holland, Chukwudi Iwuji, Steve Agee, and Robert Patrick, new episodes of DC's Peacemaker premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.