The Suicide Squad's James Gunn Reveals Why He Cast John Cena as Peacemaker

In the run-up to The Suicide Squad's production, fans were excited and surprised to learn that WWE superstar John Cena had been cast in what was, at that point, an undisclosed role. It wasn't long before word leaked that he was playing Peacemaker, a character DC bought from Charlton Comics when it collapsed and the basis for The Comedian, the murder victim at the start of Watchmen. He seemed like a great fit for The Suicide Squad, which has an eclectic cast ranging from Hollywood A-listers to Saturday Night Live alums to Nathan Fillion in a terrible wig.

Following The Suicide Squad, director James Gunn is bringing Cena back for Peacemaker, a TV series for HBO Max. During a production break, Gunn was answering questions from fans on Instagram, and the question came up: how did he decide on Cena?

"I loved him in Trainwreck and have been looking for the right role for him for a while," the filmmaker said.

Not much is known yet about Peacemaker, other than the fact that it will include some characters from The Suicide Squad, as well as some DC characters -- Judomaster was recently cast -- who have yet to make their DC Films debuts.

HBO Max is set to explore the origins of the Peacemaker in the new Max Original action-adventure-comedy series Peacemaker. HBO Max has given a straight-to-series order of eight episodes for the first season of the show. John Cena will reprise his role from The Suicide Squad movie to star in the series, and the film’s acclaimed writer/director James Gunn will write all eight episodes of Peacemaker and will direct multiple episodes, including the first. Gunn and The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran will serve as executive producers of the series, with Cena as co-executive producer. Based on characters from DC, Peacemaker will be produced by Gunn’s Troll Court Entertainment and The Safran Company in association with Warner Bros. Television. Peacemaker is scheduled to begin production in early 2021, prior to Gunn beginning work on the next Guardians of the Galaxyfilm.

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While details about Peacemaker are being kept under wraps, the series 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.

The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6, 2021.