DC Comics’ Peacemaker is getting a lot of screen time thanks to a new television spinoff. WWE superstar John Cena is reprising his role as the fictional character after recently filming as Peacemaker for 2021’s The Suicide Squad. The HBO Max original is relying on veteran superhero director James Gunn for the spinoff.
The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran is the executive producer for the action-comedy show alongside Gunn who is expected to direct and write a majority of the eight episodes.
Aside from the upcoming DC film, Peacemaker has received little to no movie or TV recognition. So who is Peacemaker and why is pro-wrestler John Cena the perfect person to play him? Let’s start with the obvious—Cena’s background as a wrestler.
The 16-time world champion appeared in the wrestling scene in 1999. His first televised WWE match in 2002 immediately made him a fan-favorite. Cena’s physical training and overall knowledge of wrestling can help him recognize more of the hand-to-hand combat style Peacemaker employs. Meaning action shots and fighting scenes are probably easier to film with Cena rather than an actor who hasn’t fought on-screen for years.
From an early age, Cena developed a passion for sports and eventually played college football at Springfield College. He was even selected as an All-American, but after graduation, Cena pursued bodybuilding and finally ventured into wrestling. Thankfully he did because the wrestler turned actor can now apply his experience from WWE’s scripted and choreographed matches to his new superhero role.
Peacemaker, or Christopher Smith, is an agent of peace driven by an extreme form of pacifism. The anti-hero is so driven to maintain peace he’s actually willing to kill for it. Part of the reason stems from his decision to enlist in the army during the Vietnam War and the heinous crime he unintentionally commits against a village of innocent people. While there’s much more to Peacemaker’s story, the vital detail here is his military background.
If it wasn’t for his transition into the entertainment industry, Cena would have served in the military. The WWE star has said he considered enlisting in the Marines during his early 20s, but didn’t after a friend introduced him to pro-wrestling. Cena did however portray a military service member in his first movie, The Marines.
The world-champion wrestler would also commemorate military service members and veterans with his famous salute. Before he’d enter the ring Cena, who’d appear in his iconic camouflage shorts, would salute for both his loyal fans and those in the Armed Forces. It was Cena’s way of showing respect. The WWE superstar also wears dog tags which he’d kiss before handing over to the referee or ringside assistant. Information on the dog tags is kept secret, except for a few Make-A-Wish families Cena has opened up with.
John Cena’s experience as a professional wrestler, history with fighting on stage, and deep respect for the Armed Forces are sure to make him an excellent TV version of Peacemaker. The exact date for the DC Universe spinoff is unknown, but it’ll explore the superhero’s origin story.