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WWE wrestler turned film and TV megastar John Cena is getting back in costume for his own Peacemaker series set to debut on Binge at 7pm AEDT tonight! After making his DC Extended Universe debut in last year’s The Suicide Squad, director James Gunn decided to write Cena’s character his own series whilst on COVID-19 lockdown in August 2020 “mostly for fun”. HBO Max would later order the eight-episode run in September, marking the first of a series of DC television series directly connected to the events depicted in their big-screen properties.
***Spoiler warning for ‘The Suicide Squad’***
Over the years, DC has enjoyed enormous success on the small screen, not only producing a massive slate of superhero shows connected to the CW Arrowverse, but also more gritty streaming fare such as Titans and Doom Patrol. Unlike the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe, who last year dropped several new series directly connected to the MCU, DC’s television outings were all largely independent of what was happening with their film arm (though Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen did get to briefly meet his Arroweverse counterpart during Crisis on Infinite Earths). However, DC films boss Walter Hamada began to turn this around in 2020, when it was announced that the studio was working with filmmakers to create a slate on interconnected DCEU television spin-offs for the HBO Max streaming service.
Set to make its Australian debut on January 13 via Binge, Peacemaker picks up after the events of Gunn’s explosive DCEU blockbuster which showed Cena’s character recovering from his seemingly fatal gunshot wound in hospital during the film’s post-credit sequence. Written in just eight weeks, Gunn was able to pen the entire first season before his duties on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 took him back across the fence to work on the MCU’s next intergalactic adventure.
Aiding Cena in his return is The Suicide Squad’s Steve Agee (who also provided motion capture for Sylvester Stallone’s King Shark) as Belle Reve warden John Economos, and Jennifer Holland as Amanda Waller’s aide Emilia Harcourt. Continuing his streak of deep-diving into obscure comic lore to bring lesser-known characters to life on screen, Gunn has also cast Harry Potter’s Freddie Stroma as the eager yet hapless Adrian Chase (a.k.a. The Vigilante) as well as Nhut Le as Judomaster. Fans will also be quick to recognise Terminator 2’s Robert Patrick as Auggie Smith, who will be playing Cena’s father, the man responsible for helping shape Peacemaker into what has previously been described as the “world’s biggest d*****bag”. Gunn has also hinted at a potential cameo from a surprise The Suicide Squad character!
A brutal vigilante who prizes peace at any cost, regardless of how many men, women and children he needs to kill to attain it, previous teasers for the show have hinted at a change of conscience for the violent antihero responsible for killing Joel Kinnaman’s Colonel Rick Flag. Peacemaker’s beloved feathered companion, an American bald eagle named Eagly, also hints at a softer side to the hard-boiled action man.
While no official news has yet been announced regarding a theoretical second season, Gunn has already suggested he has plans in mind should Warner Bros. decide to pursue one. With early reviews already praising the series for its action and humour, no doubt fans will be keeping their fingers crossed he gets the official green light soon.
The first three episodes of Peacemaker will premiere simultaneously with the US release date, with the remaining five episodes subsequently releasing each week. Australian audiences can catch all the action on Binge!