HBO Max is taking a page out of the Disney+ playbook, as the streamer has ordered a series that will explore the origins of John Cena‘s Suicide Squad character Peacemaker, and will be written and partially directed by James Gunn.
Gunn will write all eight episodes of Peacemaker and direct multiple episodes, including the first. Gunn and The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran will serve as executive producers of the action-adventure-comedy series, with Cena serving as co-executive producer.
Peacemaker is a master of weapons who believes in peace at any cost — no matter how many people he has to kill to get it. The series will extend the world that Gunn is creating for The Suicide Squad movie, which is scheduled to be released in theaters on Aug. 6, 2021.
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 Galaxy film.
“Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag,” said Gunn. 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.”
“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,” added Cena.
“James Gunn has the unique ability to create an expansive universe while also bringing to life the soul and wit of each character. We look forward to a deep dive into the world of Peacemaker,” said HBO Max’s Casey Bloys.
This is a smart play by Bloys, as Cena is a rising movie star with good comic timing, so getting him to do any TV show, let alone one based on a well-known IP, should pay off. I thought The Suicide Squad footage shown at DC FanDome looked great, and I suspect that Gunn thinks he has something special on his hands if he’s going to continue playing in that world.
Cena will soon be seen opposite Vin Diesel in the new Fast and Furious sequel F9, which is expected to roar into theaters in April. Meanwhile, Gunn is writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Marvel, which brought the filmmaker back to finish his trilogy after the first two films earned more than $1.6 billion at the global box office. Safran, for his part, has The Conjuring 3 on tap for a June release, following by sequels to Aquaman, Shazam! and The Nun.
For a closer look at The Suicide Squad, including the first footage from the film, click here.