James Gunn says you don’t need to have seen ‘The Suicide Squad’ to enjoy ‘Peacemaker’

Photo via HBO

James Gunn has promised fans that they don’t need to have seen The Suicide Squad before they watch Peacemaker.

The Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker jumped ship from Marvel to DC with last summer’s sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 original, and now he’s following that up with a spinoff TV series for John Cena’s Christopher Smith, the world’s most violent pacifist.

Cena made his DCEU debut in The Suicide Squad, but it seems the show will be more standalone than fans might have expected. When one Twitter user asked him if they needed to catch TSS before Peacemaker starts, here’s what Gunn had to say.

By the sounds of it, then, the pilot episode of Peacemaker will kick off with a recap of the events of the recent film. To jog your memory, Smith was revealed to be Amanda Waller’s mole within the team whose mission it was to erase all evidence of the U.S. government’s involvement in the experiments on Starro.

In doing so, he murdered Rick Flag and was then thought to have been dispatched by Bloodsport. The sequel’s post-credits scene then revealed that Peacemaker had miraculously survived his apparent death, and was now needed on another world-saving mission.

Despite the series being standalone, Peacemaker features a couple of familiar faces from TSS alongside Cena. Jennifer Holland and Steve Agee reprise their roles as Emily Harcourt and John Economos, respectively, with the cast filled out by the likes of Robert Patrick, Chukwudi Iwuji, Danielle Brooks, and Freddie Stroma as DC comics hero Vigilante. Gunn has also hinted that one more Task Force X member may pop up, too.

The eight-part Peacemaker drops its first three episodes on HBO Max in just 10 days time, on Thursday, January 13.