James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is still almost a year away—assuming the release dates don’t get screwed up any further by the pandemic—but that hasn’t stopped HBO Max from doubling down on the property with a spin-off series focused on John Cena’s debuting new character, Peacemaker. And not only that—the eight episodes of the Peacemaker series will all be written by Gunn himself, who will also direct several episodes. Gunn, unsurprisingly is executive producing alongside Cena, the former many-time WWE world champion.
The “hero” known as Peacemaker is something of a zealot for justice, who presumably ends up with the Suicide Squad thanks to the extreme measures he’s willing to take to achieve it. The series is described as an action-comedy about the origins of the character, who is described as “a man who believes in peace at any cost—no matter how many people he has to kill to get it.” The key art below gets that message across nicely, simply reading: “F#CK! IT’S PEACEMAKER!”
“Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag,” said Gunn in a statement. “I’m excited to expand The Suicide Squad and bring this character from the DC film universe to the full breadth of a series. And of course, to be able to work again with John, Peter, and my friends at Warner Bros. is the icing on the cake.”
“Friends at Warner Bros” could of course be interpreted as a bit of a dig at Disney, which allowed Gunn to slip away when they fired the Guardians of the Galaxy series director a few years back following the emergence of some insensitive joke tweets from years earlier. Disney has since hired Gunn back once again to direct Guardians 3, but in the meantime the director has found himself increasingly associated with the DC cinematic universe instead.
Cena, meanwhile, had the following to say: “I have said before that it has been a tremendous honor and an incredible opportunity to be part of The Suicide Squad and to work with James on what is going to be a fantastic movie. I am unbelievably excited to have the chance to team up with him again for Peacemaker. We can’t wait for fans to see this.”
HBO Max is of course working on other prominent DC superhero fare as well, including a spinoff of Matt Reeves’ The Batman and the full release of the infamous “Snyder Cut” of Justice League. Production on Peacemaker, meanwhile, is reportedly set to get going before Gunn’s The Suicide Squad kicks its way into theaters on Aug. 6, 2021.