Peacemaker: James Gunn Told John Cena Not to Read The Comics

By Timothy Adams
When it came time for John Cena to prepare for his role as the DC antihero Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad, director/writer James Gunn told him not to read any of the comics. The Peacemaker series became an instant hit for HBO Max, with the streamer renewing it for a second season ahead of the Season 1 finale. John Cena had been out doing promotion for the action-packed episode, where he revealed during a video interview with GQ the words of wisdom James Gunn passed along to him when it came time to do his research on playing Peacemaker.
“In doing my research, James told me ‘don’t read the comic books, read the script,'” Cena told GQ. “This is a comic book persona that has a bunch of existences out there, from different people putting out comics about Peacemaker, so I’m just gonna make my own thing.”
Part of Cena’s research involved George Patton and Douglas MacArthur, who were storied generals in the U.S. military. As for Peacemaker’s costume, he wound up “taking cues” from Patton, “who was always the most vibrant-looking general in a photo and, why would you wear a vibrant uniform to lurk in the shadows, so to speak.”
He added, “And I really gravitated towards Lee Army’s role in Full Metal Jacket, so I wanted to be that sort of persona. And it fit the words, because Lee Army rattled off a litany of curses that would make anybody proud in that movie, and he said it with such conviction and such direction that it made sense. So, a couple takes like that and finally, James was like, ‘No wait. This isn’t what Peacemaker is. He’s a douchey Captain America.’ And that was it… I wish he told me that months ago.”
Gunn celebrated the Peacemaker renewal with a special message on Twitter. “That’s right, #Peacemaker is coming back for Season Two,” he wrote. “Thanks to Peter Safran, @JohnCena, our incredible cast & crew, our wildly supportive & lovely friends at @hbomax – and mostly all of you for watching! @DCpeacemaker”
Cena also joined in the celebration, posting, “Learning about and eventually becoming #PEACEMAKER was an exercise in exploring the fun and absolutely genius mind of @JamesGunn. It’s been a privilege to work on this show and with the cast, crew and @hbomax team. Elated to say we’ll be back to create more peace for Season [2]. I am incredibly honored and humbled by the response to Peacemaker and the experience of playing this character. Thank you to James Gunn, Peter Safran, HBO Max, the crew, and my castmates who worked tirelessly to make this unforgettable series.”
Let us know what you think about Peacemaker coming back for Season 2 in the comments!
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