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‘Peacemaker’ Shows Emotional Growth Amid Continued Assassinations In Preview

From left to right, Peacemaker's oddball gang: Economos (Steve Agee), Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), Adebayo (Danielle Brooks, Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), and Peacemaker (John Cena).
From left to right, Peacemaker’s oddball gang: Economos (Steve Agee), Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), Adebayo (Danielle Brooks, Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), and Peacemaker (John Cena). Katie Yu/HBO Max

“I cherish peace with all my heart. I don’t care how many men, women, and children I need to kill to get it.” ―The Peacemaker to Ratcatcher 

Christopher Smith, aka Peacemaker, appears in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad full DC Comic personality intact: Hypocritical, egotistical, self-righteous, and zealous. He’s a vigilante who believes in achieving peace at any cost no matter how many people he has to kill for it. In HBO Max’s eight-episode series coming in January 2022, Gunn wrote a series for a more redeemable character. After October’s teaser, the extended trailer for the eight-episode Peacemaker DC Comic spinoff series dropped last week. There’s high action, snappy humor, and even a bit of humility as Smith’s character begins to consider the consequences of his actions. 

“There’s something about him that’s… sad,” Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo says. 

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This precedes Smith experiencing a rare pang of conscience, refusing to shoot women and kids in order to take down his target. 

Director James Gunn wrote the series last summer while locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports say that Gunn picked Cena’s Peacemaker because he felt audiences never got the chance to get to know the character in Suicide Squad.

The eight-episode series opens just after The Suicide Squad’s post-credits scene, that revealed Peacemaker survived what appeared to be a fatal shooting. Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) recruits Peacemaker and the assassin accepts in order to avoid going back to prison.

The gang, warden John Economos (Steve Agee) of the Belle Reve penitentiary, NSA agent Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), and Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) join together with Freddie Stroma as Adrian Chase/Vigilante, a district attorney who fights crime and has rapid-healing abilities, alon with Nhut Le as Judomaster. The team’s mission is to take out ‘butterflies’ for Murn, “serious threats to the safety of American citizens.” 

Peacemaker is even facing demons from his past, specifically in the form of Robert Patrick (Terminator 2) who plays his crusty father, Auggie Smith. Feelings appear to be a hard thing to deal with for a cold-blooded assassin.

“My advice? Cut it out with the introspection. The mind is a den of scorpions better left running from, not toward,” Stroma as Chase advises.

There’s action galore in Peacemaker and zingers to feel in the space in between. As Peacemaker dives out of a window, barely surviving an assassination, he catches heat instead of sympathy as his pet eagle Star flies into the escape car. 

“That thing better not crap in the back of my car,” Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt says.

“You’re not allowed to train an eagle dude. That’ll steal its soul,” Cena as Smith replies.

The first three episodes of Peacemaker premiere on HBO Max on Jan. 17, 2022. New episodes will air weekly every Thursday after that through Feb. 17. Catch the trailer at www.youtube.com/watch.

Read More: ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel, ‘House of Dragon,’ To Roar Onto HBO Max in 2022

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Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
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