James Gunn celebrates ‘The Suicide Squad’ six-month anniversary with new BTS photo

Image via DC Films

As Peacemaker reaches its final episodes, James Gunn has celebrated a mini-milestone for the movie that spawned it. Before starring in his own HBO Max TV series, John Cena made his debut as Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad, the standalone follow-up to 2016’s Suicide Squad that united a few familiar faces from David Ayer’s film with some new recruits to Task Force X in order to take down Starro the Conqueror.

With the film releasing last Aug. 6, this weekend marked the six-month anniversary of The Suicide Squad. Writer/director Gunn took to Instagram to celebrate the occasion, sharing a new behind-the-scenes photo — which revealed that filming on the movie’s darkest scene wasn’t as heavy-going as you might think.

The pic sees Gunn smiling with Cena and Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag). Fans will recognize this snap as coming from the moment when Christopher Smith brutally kills Flag. “Sometimes the darkest scenes are the most fun to film,” Gunn wrote in his caption. “Happy 6 month anniversary to #TheSuicideSquad.”

Flag’s death is generally agreed to be the most heartbreaking part of TSS, with Peacemaker becoming fandom enemy no. 1 after executing the noble colonel. His TV show has managed to successfully rehabilitate Cena’s character, however, taking Smith on a redemption arc of sorts. In fact, it’s his murder of Flag that makes Peacemaker decide to change his ways and turn himself from a killer into an actual hero. So, while Flag might be dead, at least his legacy continues to be felt.

Half a year on from his first appearance, then, Peacemaker is now battling an invasion of alien butterflies, alongside TSS vets Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee). With two weeks left to go, new Peacemaker episodes arrive Thursdays on HBO Max. The Suicide Squad is also streaming on the platform.