“It’s a lot of ‘80s hair metal but it’s also a lot of ‘sleaze rock’ and hair metal that comes out of Europe. It was fun finding the really good stuff to inject the series with its flavor, which we kept throughout the whole first season.”
Peacemaker stars John Cena’s titular character from The Suicide Squad, an obscure DC Comics assassin obsessed with keeping the peace through whatever violent means necessary. As befitting a hero (or villain?) with such a grandiose identity, the show’s soundtrack is almost exclusively all screeching, hyper masculine Whitesnake-style glam bombast. (It also features a musical opening credits sequence that is pure schlocky TV nirvana.)
During the panel, Gunn recounted the circumstances that led to Peacemaker in the first place. When Warner Bros. exec Peter Safran and DC’s Walter Hamada approached Gunn to ask which The Suicide Squad character he would most like to build a spinoff around, there was only one who came to mind.
“I just found something really interesting about Peacemaker, both because I loved working with John Cena and I thought that he had a lot of acting gifts and comedy gifts that we weren’t able to fully utilize in the movie,” Gunn said. “I thought he was just a really cool, interesting character that could be pertinent to today’s world, in terms of his sort of backwards way of looking at things.”
Cena’s Christopher Smith a.k.a. Peacemaker does indeed have a backwards way of looking at things. From an impoverished background with a father (played by Robert Patrick) who quite frankly does not love or even like his son, Chris doesn’t pick up on social graces well. Nor is he what one would call particularly politically correct.
“His blind spots, in some places, are pretty terrible. And then, in some place, it’s just him being ignorant. Peacemaker is almost every guy that I grew up with in Missouri,” Gunn said.
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