John Cena’s Peacemaker was a highlight of The Suicide Squad, which is saying a lot considering most of the movie was composed of highlights. It makes sense then that James Gunn and Cena liked playing with him so much that they decided to make a series based on the character’s continuing adventures for HBO Max. The full Peacemaker trailer just landed at HBO Max, and it shows the same balance of comedy and surprising character depth that Peacemaker had in the film.
As the trailer demonstrates, Peacemaker picks up after the film’s ending in which Peacemaker basically went evil in the name of peace and was crushed under a building. Rescued by the government, he’s once again tasked to do bad things in the name of peace, but it seems that the building falling on his head and his murder of Rick Flag may have knocked a conscience loose under his shiny helmet. Steve Agee and Jennifer Holland will return to their roles from the film, and the team will be joined by Freddie Stroma as Vigilante, Chukwudi Iwuji as Clemson Murn, and Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo. Robert Patrick will play Peacemaker’s father and clearly have a large part in unpacking how a man becomes so committed to peace that he’ll do anything.
Gunn wrote all eight episodes of the series and apparently directed five. The director has a soft spot for D-grade superhero characters as The Suicide Squad shows, and this is probably the most interesting thing the character of Peacemaker has ever done. His relatively rare appearances in comics mean the character was never truly fleshed out, and even then it was all over the place in terms of characterization. Gunn is fantastic at peeling back comedic tropes to discover characters underneath, and this looks no different.
Peacemaker premieres on HBO Max on January 13, 2022.