John Cena teases the "uncomfortable dysfunction of family" in Peacemaker

Peacemaker trailer still
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Peacemaker, the HBO Max TV show all about John Cena's The Suicide Squad character, is on its way – and it's set to delve into the complicated relationship between the titular character, AKA Christopher Smith, and his father, played by Robert Patrick.

"I really enjoy the dynamic between Chris and his dad. It addresses a very important thing that all of us can relate to, and that's the sometimes uncomfortable dysfunction of family," Cena tells our sister publication SFX magazine

"In Peacemaker, you're gonna see a lot of stuff that people can relate to in their lives, and be able to craft their own takeaways. I never want to tell people how to feel or think when they watch something, but I really love the fact that it hits on a lot of stuff about what family means to us, searching for approval of others, how to live your life, and nature versus nurture and how we're raised. How the values we grew up in can change, and how difficult it is to unwire some stuff. There's a bunch in there that is really gonna be good and fun to look at in the whole series."

Peacemaker won't just explore the relationship between Chris and his dad, either. There's also the unexpected friendship between Peacemaker and Leota Adebayo, played by Danielle Brooks. 

"The way James [Gunn] crafted every character path is really fun," Cena says. "You really go through a hell of a ride in the eight episodes, and I think Adebayo is no different. There's a moment in the trailer where Adebayo is like, 'Man, if you were just Chris every once in a while, that wouldn’t be so effing bad!' I think she's the one person that creates a safe environment for maybe him to be him. This is a guy who literally, by his own free will, is dancing in his underwear in somebody else's apartment. There's more than what you see on the surface inside of Chris Smith, and I think Adebayo is a nice catalyst to bring that out."

As for how much Chris can change in a season, Cena comments: "Hopefully, people will watch Peacemaker and want to root for Christopher Smith, even though he is a douchebag and he always will have those qualities!"

You can check out the full interview with Cena in the current issue of SFX magazine, which features Peacemaker on the cover. The series arrives to HBO Max January 13, 2022. For more from SFX, make sure to sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

Freelance Writer

Tara is the NYT bestselling author (or co-author) of 30 movie and TV companion books including the upcoming official history of Marvel Studios. She's also a freelance journalist with bylines at print and online publications such as: SCI FI Magazine, Total Film, SYFY Wire,, Fandom, Fandango/, Fancast, Newsarama, Star Wars: Insider, Walking Dead Magazine, Star Trek Magazine, LOST: The Official Magazine, Alias Magazine, 24 Magazine, and She is also the U.S. Editor for the world’s premiere sci-fi/fantasy publication, SFX Magazine. She is the host and producer for SYFY Wire’s official podcasts for USA Network’s, Colony, HISTORY's Project Blue Book official podcast, and the Lost retrospective, Through the Looking Glass co-hosted with Maureen Ryan.