John Cena as Peacemaker in 'Peacemaker'.
(Warner Bros. Discovery)

John Cena To Star in Peacemaker Spinoff Series From The Suicide Squad

Okay, but does every movie need an extended cinematic universe?

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We’re a year away from the release of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, but one of the squad members is already being spun off into his own franchise. John Cena will star in the new HBO Max series Peacemaker, based off of the character of the same name. Peacemaker is described as “a douchey Captain America” and a violent vigilante who won’t let anything stop him from his mission for world peace.

James Gunn will write and direct several episodes of the 8 episode series, including the pilot. Gunn said, “’Peacemaker’ is an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag, … 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.”

Former WWE wrestler Cena said, “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,” adding, “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.”

The Suicide Squad isn’t the only upcoming DC film to get a spinoff series on HBO Max. Matt Reeves’ The Batman will see its own series in an upcoming untitled show about the Gotham police department. Reeves will be working alongside Terence Winter, who created the critically acclaimed HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

“This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film, but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a longform format can afford — and getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream,” said Reeves.

No characters or actors have been announced for the GCPD series, but so far it sounds like a premium cable take on Gotham, which ran for five seasons on FOX.

While I appreciate DC’s hustle, I’m not sure whether every superhero film needs its own spinoff series. After all, there is more superhero content out there than ever before, and I’m not sure that either of these series are bringing anything new to the table. There’s the Gotham of it all, and douchey Captain America types can already be found in Amazon’s The Boys.

Plus, a series within the same universe is often beholden to the larger plot mechanics of the films. While I enjoyed Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I found that it was often shoehorned into more overarching MCU narratives. It’s a challenge to create interconnected universes in different mediums.

But, like any self-respecting nerd. I’m willing to give these series a chance. And considering how camp and over the top Gotham was, I am curious to see what a grounded GCPD series would look like. On the one hand, it’s a gamble to build series around unreleased films. What if the films flop or are critically panned? Perhaps Warner Bros. is just betting on the massive success of previous comic book entries. Even when these films are bad, they still rake in massive amounts of money.

Now what do we have to do to get a Birds of Prey spinoff series?!

(via Variety, featured image: )

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.