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Why James Gunn Cast John Cena As The Suicide Squad’s Peacemaker

The Suicide Squad director James Gunn reveals why he wanted John Cena to portray Peacemaker, citing a memorable performance by the actor.

James Gunn reveals why he cast John Cena as The Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad. The highly-anticipated sequel, written and directed by Gunn, will see the return of familiar faces such as Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang. But there will be some new additions to the story as well.

One of the most interesting additions is Peacemaker, who will appear in The Suicide Squad prior to getting his own spinoff show on HBO Max. The character is described as a ruthless killer who believes in achieving peace no matter what. Gunn, for his part, has referred to the character as both a superhero and a supervillain. In new remarks, Gunn revealed why he thought of Cena for the role.

While answering fan questions on Instagram, Gunn was asked why he chose Cena to be Peacemaker. The director revealed that it was his Cena’s performance in the 2015 romantic comedy Trainwreck that spurred him to consider the WWE star for other projects. You can check out Gunn’s response below.

In his relatively brief participation in Trainwreck, Cena leaves an impression as a clueless and gym-obsessed love interest of Amy Schumer’s character. The portrayal is made even memorable for the fact that, in his supporting turn, Cena is essentially poking fun at the squeaky-clean wrestling image he’d cultivated during his long run as the uncomplicated, conquering hero of WWE. In a limited number of scenes, it’s clear to see that the actor relishes the opportunity to cut loose and highlight a different side of his personality. It’s a trend he continued by appearing in comedies such as Sisters and Blockers.

Peacemaker marks Cena’s biggest departure yet. Albeit, in other ways, the DC Comics character is merely a progression of Cena’s most well-known persona. Wrestling aficionados often complained, not without merit, that Cena’s reign of dominance in WWE was hardly heroic. In spite of being a role model to young fans, the character would often belittle his opponents and ruthlessly pick at their vulnerabilities. He also wasn’t above taking shortcuts to achieve his victories. And, when pushed far enough, these tendencies were amplified even further. Peacemaker is, in a certain sense, a cruder version of a divisive protagonist that Cena has portrayed in the past.

At the moment, not much is known about the character’s spinoff show, other than that it will explore Peacemaker’s origins. The cast also been revealed, including actors from Riverdale and When They See Us. More will be unveiled about the series as it inches closer to premiering on HBO Max in January 2022. But, before then, fans will get a chance to see John Cena share the screen with a team of outcasts in The Suicide Squad.