The Suicide Squad director James Gunn previews the HBO Max spin-off series.
'The Suicide Squad' trailer (Video courtesy Warner Bros.)

Peacemaker (TV series)

Director James Gunn was in postproduction on The Suicide Squad when he came up with the idea for a TV show about one of the movie's many characters who "we didn't get to know as well" as some of the others: John Cena's supervillain Peacemaker, whose "superpower" is a willingness to commit terrible acts in the name of peace. "I loved the 1970s Captain America [TV movie] when I was a kid," says Gunn, "I thought making a really f---ed-up version of that with Peacemaker would be fun."

The problem? (WARNING: Massive The Suicide Squad spoilers follow, so look away if you have yet to see the film.) In his big-screen tale about a group of convicts sent on a dangerous mission by Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, Gunn had killed off Peacemaker — and the director is not a fan of characters apparently dying and then being brought back to life. Eventually, he overcame his reservations and added a post-credits scene to The Suicide Squad where two of Waller's underlings, Jennifer Holland's Harcourt and Steve Agee's Economos, visit a comatose but alive Peacemaker in the hospital. "I did exactly the thing I hate when other filmmakers do [it]," admits Gunn. "But I did it! I'll have to live with the repercussions, which is the most incredible TV show people will ever see."

The Peacemaker
Economos (Steve Agee), Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), and Peacemaker (John Cena).
| Credit: Katie Yu/HBO Max

The eight-episode HBO Max series, which premieres in January, centers on "black ops combating something catastrophic that's facing the planet," Gunn says, leading Peacemaker, Harcourt, and Economos to team up with three new characters. Chukwudi Iwuji is group leader Murn (a mercenary under Waller), while Freddie Stroma plays popular comics character Vigilante. "You may not have guessed it," quips Gunn, "but his character is a vigilante!" Danielle Brooks plays sixth team member Adebayo. "She isn't always treated the best by the people around her, but despite her differences with Peacemaker, they form a bond," he explains. 

Gunn, who wrote all of Peacemaker and directed five episodes, will spend much of the next year making the third of his Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but reveals he would be happy to return to the show if it proves a success. "I would like to do a season 2," he says. "They just have to tell me that they want to do it."

Exclusively see a first look image of Peacemaker above.

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Peacemaker (TV series)

John Cena returns as the titular character in this HBO Max spin-off from the DC Comics film 'The Suicide Squad.' 

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