Peacemaker leading man John Cena talked about how the HBO Max DC Extended Universe series’ audience went from cursing its existence — due to who it would focus on — to thanking Cena for it.

“I remember so many fans, with voices who I’m very grateful for… when we announced the spinoff, everyone was like, ‘f**k this guy, he’s the worst character in The Suicide Squad,'” Cena said while speaking to “‘He killed Rick Flag! He’s a bad guy. I don’t want to see this.’ I’ve just been talking about growth [for Christopher Smith] and it’s great to see the audience hang in there with us on this episodic journey and be entertained and now want to want to see more.”

RELATED: Peacemaker’s Superman Stand-In Campaigns for a DCEU Return

Cena added that the reception for the announcement of Peacemaker Season 2 “was very different” than the show’s original press release. “I had to deal with many people telling me to f**k off. And now, I’m getting so many thank you messages,” he continued. “People are excited about the season and looking forward to Season 2. So what a difference a great human being like James Gunn, our great cast, and eight episodes can make.”

Series creator James Gunn also recently commented on the renewal of Peacemaker, saying, “To have something we all love so much be loved by the audience in turn has been a wonderful experience. I can’t wait for folks to see where Team Peacemaker goes in Season Two!”

RELATED: James Gunn Shares Which Peacemaker Scene Brought John Cena to Tears

Additionally, Gunn identified what about Cena’s performance in The Suicide Squad led to the creation of the Peacemaker series. “It’s the moment in The Suicide Squad where Peacemaker is holding his gun on Ratcatcher 2 and he’s about to kill her,” the filmmaker revealed. “I went into this tight closeup of his eyes… and I see his eyes switch. I see him go to this incredibly sad, vulnerable place. We realize this character is a guy who’s doing something he doesn’t want to do at all, but that he’s going to do anyway, which is shoot a young girl.”

Tying into this, Gunn talked about why the spinoff happened for Peacemaker instead of the othere members of Task Force X last year. Gunn stated that unlike his teammates, Christopher Smith had an unfinished story arc, but also noted added that he thought “there’s something below that.”

Peacemaker will not be Gunn’s only contribution to HBO Max, as it was recently announced that he is working on a second spinoff from The Suicide Squad. Details about the series have not yet been made available, though Gunn did state that it will not “be the same genre as Peacemaker.” Gunn also revealed that he will focus on TV after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Season 1 of Peacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max.

KEEP READING: Peacemaker’s James Gunn Explains Why He Doesn’t See Superheroes as ‘Gods’


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