Peacemaker trailer: Do ya wanna taste the Suicide Squad spinoff on HBO Max?

The DC Comics TV series from James Gunn and John Cena makes peace with HBO Max on Jan. 13, 2022.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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John Cena wants to make peace. 

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Do ya really wanna, do ya really wanna taste it? The trailer for new TV show Peacemaker shows why James Gunn's creation was a standout character from darkly comic DC Comics blockbuster The Suicide Squad, as the gun-loving super-lunk played by John Cena blasts his way onto HBO Max in the new year.

The first trailer was shown to press at the Television Critics' Association press tour Sept. 22, and the public got to see it at virtual fan event DC Fandome on Saturday. To the tune of Wig Wam's soft rock banger Do Ya Wanna Taste It? the trailer also revealed a release date for the show. 

The eight-episode spinoff series is written by the film's writer and director, James Gunn. Judging by Gunn's gory, glorious Suicide Squad flick, the Peacemaker series is likely to be violent, profane and a heck of a lot of shiny-helmeted fun. 

Peacemaker release date

The spinoff show will stream on HBO Max on Jan. 13, 2022.  

Who is Peacemaker?

Christopher Smith loves peace so much he'd kill for it. In his original form, Peacemaker was created by writer Joe Gill and artist Pat Boyette and made his debut in 1966 in comic book Fightin' 5, published by Charlton Comics. DC Comics later acquired the character, who would go through various incarnations.

The Suicide Squad 2021
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The Suicide Squad 2021

John Cena (center) wearing his Peacemaker costume at the premiere for The Suicide Squad.

Warner Bros

Smith (aka Peacemaker) made his big-screen debut in The Suicide Squad this summer. Gunn and the folks at HBO Max thought Cena was so much fun that the spinoff was developed and shot in early 2021 before the film even came out. Sure enough, Cena's hilarious performance was one of the most acclaimed elements of the critically lauded movie, even if the flick didn't make as much as hoped at the box office.

Is Peacemaker a prequel?

It isn't a spoiler for The Suicide Squad to say that few of the characters made it out alive. And by the end of the movie, Peacemaker looked to be one of the casualties -- until the post-credits scene changed things considerably. That leaves the way clear for the series to follow on from the film, rather than being a prequel.

One thing we do know: The opening sequence is a musical number.

Peacemaker cast

Along with Cena, Steve Agee and Jennifer Holland reprise their roles from the film as Suicide Squad backroom staff stuck looking after Peacemaker. The cast is rounded out by Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma and Chukwudi Iwuji. Robert Patrick will play Peacemaker's father.

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