HBO Max’s upcoming Peacemaker series seemed to come out of nowhere — all of a sudden, John Cena was going to star in a limited series spin-off of James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad, reprising his character in a movie that hadn’t even come out yet. And in a sense, the whole thing — which was announced and put in development in the span of weeks — was all unplanned, according to Gunn.
In an Instagram post marking the beginning of production for Peacemaker, Gunn revealed that he conceived of and wrote the whole series while stuck in quarantine. It happened because he had just wrapped on Warner Bros.’ The Suicide Squad and had turned in a draft for Marvel’s highly anticipated sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. And rather than twiddling his thumbs, Gunn started to write a Peacemaker series for fun…and wrote the entire first season in two months.
“5 months ago, while quarantining, I was almost done editing The Suicide Squad & had just turned in a draft of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 & was awaiting notes,” Gunn wrote. “Normally I would try & take a break during this time & go on vacation. But with Covid that wasn’t happening. So, having nothing else to do, I started writing a TV series, Peacemaker, mostly for fun, as I didn’t believe it was ever going to happen. I wrote a whole first season in 8 weeks. And now, here I am in my trailer, on the first day of shooting. Life is surreal. Let’s go (& go safely!)”
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HBO Max first announced the Peacemaker series in September, as part of the WarnerMedia streaming platform’s strategy to spin off its DC properties into TV shows that will bring more eyes, and more subscribers, to its service. But it seems Gunn was already rarin’ to go, corporate strategy or not, as was Cena, who was signed on from the start. Since then, the series has been steadily accumulating cast members, including Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Jennifer Holland (Brightburn), and Chris Conrad (Patriot), and more.
Gunn’s series will show how Peacemaker became “a man who believes in peace at any cost — no matter how many people he has to kill to get it.” Gunn and The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran will serve as executive producers of the series, with Cena as co-executive producer.
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