Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

James Gunn, HBO Max team up for The Suicide Squad prequel about John Cena's Peacemaker

Illustration for article titled James Gunn, HBO Max team up for iThe Suicide Squad/i prequel about John Cenas Peacemaker
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Peacemaker, one of the antiheroes rounding out James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad, is described as “a man who believes in peace at any cost—no matter how many people he has to kill to get it.” How did he get that way, you wonder? Well, good news: HBO Max plans to explore that very question in a prequel series from Gunn and John Cena, who plays the gun-toting dickhead in the film.

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Gunn will write all eight episodes of the “action-adventure-comedy” series, and will also direct a handful of episodes, including the pilot. Production begins in early 2021, meaning Gunn will wrap up the series before beginning work on the next Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel.

In a statement, Gunn seems to anticipate the blowback he’s like to receive for building a show around a freedom-loving vigilante as MAGA chuds form shoddy militias and shoot non-violent protestors in the real world. Peacemaker is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag,” he says 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.”

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HBO Max’s desire to intertwine a DC film with an accompanying series mirrors the strategy it’s taking with Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s The Batman. As we reported back in July, the streamer has recruited Boardwalk Empire’s Terence Winter to pen a series that will “further explore the myriad complex characters of [Reeves’] Gotham.”

The Suicide Squad is slated for release on August 6, 2021, and with Peacemaker filming early next year there’s a chance it could debut not long after the film. Of course, that’s all still a ways off, so why not bide the time by reminding yourself which antiheroes are primed to show up in Gunn’s sorta-sequel.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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