Squad Goals

Peacemaker cast: First look reveals John Cena and 2 brand new characters

The upcoming DC series brings a new squad to HBO Max.

Of all The Suicide Squad’s scene-stealers, Peacemaker was one of the most memorable.

In the latest DC Extended Universe movie, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) recruited Peacemaker (John Cena), whose powers include deadly aim and an unwavering commitment to peace (no matter the costs), to join her team of Belle Reve convicts on a deadly mission. Trading quips with the squad’s leader Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker often jockeyed to be the team’s leader with little success… until now.

Director James Gunn is giving John Cena’s villain his own show on HBO Max. Set to premiere in January 2022, Peacemaker’s eight-episode season will feature Cena’s character as part of a team of both familiar and new characters assembled to combat “something catastrophic that's facing the planet," Gunn tells Entertainment Weekly.

This week, EW premiered a first look at the series — an image revealing Peacemaker’s cast, including Bridgerton’s Freddie Stroma and Danielle Brooks from Orange Is the New Black. Because few can assemble a team as good as Gunn, here’s a breakdown of the new and old DC characters who make up Peacemaker’s new squad.

Major spoilers for The Suicide Squad ahead

Peacemaker cast: Returning recruits

Peacemaker, Harcourt, and Economos return for the new HBO Max series.Warner Bros.

In The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker was Amanda Waller’s insider man and tasked to destroy evidence of the United States’ involvement with the Starro experiments. Peacemaker, who will do anything for the greater good, killed Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) in the process before meeting his own demise in Corto Maltese.

Except, if you stuck around for The Suicide Squad’s post-credit scenes, you know that Peacemaker made it out alive after Bloodsport shot him and part of a building collapsed on him. In the same end credits scene, you also see Waller’s team members, Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee), standing outside of Peacemaker’s hospital room.

The trio will need to work together on a new mission. Given that Harcourt and Economos rebelled against Waller when she was about to flip the switch and kill Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad, it will be interesting to see them team up with someone as loyal to Waller as Peacemaker seems to be.

Peacemaker cast: New characters

Entertainment Weekly debuted Peacemaker’s first look image featuring Economos (Steve Agee), Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), and Peacemaker (John Cena).KATIE YU/HBO MAX

While Peacemaker is the lead, he’s still is not the leader. Instead, Waller’s mercenary Clemson Murn will be in charge. Played by Chukwudi Iwuji, Murn seems to be an entirely new creation. An early casting call for Peacemaker described the character as “a strong, tough, a true leader.”

Freddie Stroma plays Vigilante, who is, as the name suggests, a vigilante. A popular DC character, Vigilante is an identity assumed by several different characters in the comics, but Peacemaker will feature Adrian Chase’s version of the anti-hero. Chase was a New York City district attorney until the mob murdered his wife and kids. Frustrated by the court system and wanting to seek justice, he became Vigilante. Stroma’s character, like Peacemaker, brings expert marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat abilities to the team.

Danielle Brooks rounds out the squad, playing Leota Adebayo. Brooks’ character also seems to be an original created by Gunn for the series. The character is described as smart and driven, and Gunn hints at her friendship with Peacemaker.

"She isn't always treated the best by the people around her, but despite her differences with Peacemaker, they form a bond," he said.

While the details surround Peacemaker are still sparse, there’s enough here to be excited for in James Gunn’s new series. The writer-director is capitalizing on his skill for bringing together a funny and eccentric ensemble of characters that will bring loads of chemistry to the small screen next year.

Peacemaker Season 1 premieres January 2022 on HBO Max.