James Gunn, the showrunner behind the new HBO Max series Peacemaker, has confirmed the fact that the titular character played by John Cena is in fact bisexual, and notes that the character’s sexuality was Cena’s own creation.

Gunn, who previously worked with Cena on 2021s The Suicide Squad, said Cena improvised more during the show’s filming than any other actor he had previously worked with. 

Gunn directed five of the seven episodes and wrote all off the episodes of Peacemaker.

‘Cena Turned Christopher Smith Into This Hyper-Sexualized Dude’

In an interview with Empire for the April edition, Gunn said, “John does improv all the time, and he just turned Christopher Smith into this hyper-sexualized dude that is open to anything sexually. I was surprised by that. But I thought, I guess it makes sense that this guy isn’t one-dimensional.’” 

“We see in the show that he doesn’t have any issues with sexuality. As long as you’re not f***ing animals – that he’s not into. But besides that, he’s pretty open. And yet other things he’s completely close-minded on.”

In the series’ first episode, Peacemaker tells Emilia Harcourt (played by Jennifer Holland), he hasn’t been intimate with “anyone” since he has been in prison but later amends that, saying he hasn’t “been with any woman.” 

In the same episode Peacemaker says that while he is ok with Aquaman sleeping with men, he draws the line at him sleeping with fish.  “He f**ks women fine. F**ks dudes, no problem, but when he starts f**king fish, he’s taking it a step too far,” Peacemaker jokes.

Peacemaker In A Threesome

John Cena in the HBO Max series ‘Peacemaker’

In episode two, Peacemaker has a (non-graphic) threesome with his friend Vigilante, and a woman named Amber.

In the show’s seventh episode, which aired February 10, Peacemaker (aka Christopher Smith), and his homophobic, white supremacist father, August Smith / White Dragon (played by Robert Patrick), are locked in a violent battle against each other. When August momentarily takes the upper hand he spells out all the reasons he hates his son. 

“I knew you was unclean when you was born, and even more so when you killed your brother,” August says. 

“I knew when you listened to that devil music. I knew when you shaved your body like a woman. I knew when you slept with the whores of polluted blood… and men!”

Gunn also went into detail about Peacemaker’s roller-coaster relationship with friend Leota Adebayo (played by Danielle Brooks). 

“She is his polar opposite in so many ways, politically. She’s a Black, gay woman. He’s a white, straight – nah, he’s not straight – white, whatever-he-is male,” Gunn told Empire. “And yet they really like each other. They have a lot in common. Peacemaker is an interesting character because he’s so f***ed up in so many ways, and then in other ways, he is kind of weirdly forward-thinking.” 

Peacemaker Faces Homophobic Slurs


Gunn also referenced Peacemaker’s affection for hair metal (pop-influenced heavy metal music), saying, “I think the hair metal [that he listens to] is actually kind of a beautiful thing about Peacemaker. It does have that cocky male swagger that he has, but hair metal is also a way he rebelled against his father. There are the androgynous aspects of it, and his dad probably called him all sorts of homophobic slurs because he was listening to it.”

“But he owned it. It was his. Something that was outside the realm of his father. He loves that music and he’s able to just escape into it and rock out and be okay. I think he’s grateful to the music for that,” Gunn said.

Allusions to Peacemaker being bisexual also appeared in The Suicide Squad where Bloodsport tells Peacemaker, “And I’ve decided that you should eat a big bag of dicks. How’s that?”

“You’re being facetious,” replies Peacemaker. “But if this whole beach was completely covered in dicks, and somebody said, I had to eat every dick until the beach was clean for liberty, I would say no problemo.”

Peacemaker Is A Runway Hit

Peacemaker has proven to be a runaway hit for the streamer. It is now the top-reviewed release amongst all of the DC Extended Universe projects including 2017s Wonder Woman, which held a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Peacemaker now rests at the top of the chart with a 94% approval rating. The show has been renewed for a second season with Gunn scheduled to write and direct all the episodes.

“Creating Peacemaker has been one of the true highlights of my life, both professionally and otherwise, with John Cena and the incredible creative team around me, as well as our partners at HBO Max,” Gunn said in a statement. 

“To have something we all love so much be loved by the audience in turn has been a wonderful experience. I can’t wait for folks to see where Team Peacemaker goes in Season Two!”




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