John Cena was inspired by FPS gamers for ‘Peacemaker’

peacemaker
Image via HBO

Peacemaker airs its first three episodes on HBO Max on Thursday, with writer/director James Gunn promising a no-holds-barred ride through some of the weirder corners of the DCEU. John Cena plays the title role, expanding on his breakout character from last year’s The Suicide Squad.

Despite ending up in the hospital after his bout with Bloodsport, the trailers indicate Peacemaker appears to be fighting fit and living up to his credo of ensuring peace “no matter how many men, women, and children I need to kill to achieve it.”

Now Cena has revealed he took inspiration for the persona from an unlikely but appropriate source. In an interview with CBR about Peacemaker’s personality, he said:

“I think from Peacemaker’s perspective, that persona is more boastful. I would see his perspective as the eyes of somebody in a first-person-shooter game, and that’s why he gamifies his marksmanship and his skills. I just think he is like most loud, brash individuals: they are putting up a front to defend from people to understanding who they really are.”

We’ll likely see this ‘front’ demolished over the course of the show. A key character will be Peacemaker’s father Auggie Smith, as played by Terminator 2 and The Sopranos star Robert Patrick. First mentioned in The Suicide Squad, he’s been described as a powerful and cunning small-town racist and the key to why Peacemaker is the way he is.

Dealing with an abusive/absent father is well within James Gunn’s wheelhouse and I can’t wait to see more of Cena and Patrick interacting, with the older man clearly one of the few people able to get under his skin.

Here’s hoping Peacemaker lives up to expectations. We’ll find out on Thursday when the first three episodes premiere on HBO Max.