Freddie Stroma is joining John Cena in The Suicide Squad spin-off series Peacemaker at HBO Max, replacing the previously cast Chris Conrad as Vigilante. Stroma, whose roles include Prince Friedrich in the Shonda Rhimes-produced Bridgerton for Netflix and race car driver Jake Martin in the streaming comedy The Crew, takes over the Adrian Chase role as Conrad exits "amicably due to creative differences," according to a report. The already-filming spin-off series, created by James Gunn as the first television show set in the DC Extended Universe, cast the Young Hercules and Patriot actor in November 2020.
Stroma will play Adrian Chase, a New York City district attorney who in the DC comic books becomes a gun-wielding and fast-healing vigilante after his family is killed by mob violence. An expert marksman and a ruthless dispenser of justice, the costumed Vigilante ultimately becomes guilt-ridden over a pursuit of vengeance that unfolded in the pages of Vigilante and Teen Titans.
Stroma joins a cast that includes Cena, reprising his role as the titular character from the Gunn-directed The Suicide Squad, Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program, The Suicide Squad) as John Economos, Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black) as Leota Adebayo, Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) as Auggie Smith, Chukwudi Iwuji (Designated Survivor) as Clemson Murn, and Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt, reprising her role from The Suicide Squad as the aide to Amanda Waller (Viola Davis).
Peacemaker is set in the world Gunn created for The Suicide Squad and "will explore the origins of the character that Cena will play in the upcoming film, a man who believes in peace at any cost — no matter how many people he has to kill to get it," reads an official description for the eight-episode series premiering January 2022 on HBO Max.
Describing his "f—ed up superhero" at WarnerMedia upfronts earlier in May, Cena said of his macho Peacemaker: "He loves peace so much he'll kill for it. That one sentence, right there is so... f—ed!"
Stroma's role was first reported by Deadline. Cena stars opposite Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Joel Kinnaman, Sylvester Stallone, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi, and Viola Davis in The Suicide Squad, releasing in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6.