Peacemaker’s team has avoided a complete apocalypse, killed the cow, and yelled at a few superheroes on their way out. And the good news is that Peacemaker will get a chance to yell expletives again, having officially been renewed for a season 2.
James Gunn called Peacemaker “one of the true highlights of my life, both professionally and otherwise.” But that’s not the only statement he’s made on season 2. Gunn has spoken very highly of the TV-making process, and never hidden his optimism — and plans — for continuing the Peacemaker story with John Cena in the titular role.
“Being a TV show, you really do have more time to delve much deeper into these characters and much more deeply into the drama and comedy of them,” Gunn told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year. “So it has a lot of similarities [to The Suicide Squad], but it’s even more grounded, more natural and more real. It’s still within a big science-fiction storyline that lasts for one season. The main storyline lasts for that season, so that doesn’t mean there’s only one season of Peacemaker.”
Where season 1 leaves Team Peacemaker
We at least know that Leota (Danielle Brooks) and Chris are officially “BFFs” (sorry, Vigilante). Chris is feeding Goff the butterfly and seeing his dead dad (more on that later). Judomaster (Nhut Lee) lives to fight another day, albeit heartbroken over the loss of his butterfly allies. Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) is gone — as both a butterfly and a human, seemingly — so it seems the team will be on their own to figure out the next antagonist.
Harcourt is recuperating after nearly dying in her battle against the butterflies, and sharing a tender moment with Chris at her hospital bedside. Jennifer Holland tells Polygon she wasn’t completely sure how Harcourt would feel in that moment about herself, but seeing Chris at her bedside undeniably wore through her defenses.
“I think what Harcourt’s going through in that moment is kind of like [...] Oh my gosh, I didn’t know it could feel so good to be cared for, you know, because she just has never really allowed anything like that in her life,” Holland says.
Agee was surprised that his character got as big an emotional moment in the final chapter as anyone, and about the beard he hated no less. “As a character actor, you know, my career is usually boiled down to walking in at the end of someone else’s scene with a mouthful of food and saying something stupid and then they cut to a commercial,” Agee says. “So this was huge.”
As for what Economos was doing at Belle Reve penitentiary — well, even Agee is not sure what to make of that. “I don’t know if that’s his office, or if he has a new job,” Agee says. “It was still a sweet moment where he’s now back to work and he’s not being made fun of.”
So what will Peacemaker season 2 and its spinoff show be about?
Of course, in terms of full details Gunn’s keeping mum — about both the outline for season 2 of Peacemaker and the other Suicide Squad spinoff in the works at HBO Max.
“I can’t say anything. It is connected to this universe, and I don’t think it will be the same genre as Peacemaker, it won’t be as much a comedy as Peacemaker, but it will be in the same universe,” Gunn told Deadline.
From what he has said, it’s clear he’s interested in using Peacemaker to continue fleshing out out the emotional depth of Chris Smith. In the finale, he opts to not betray his friends and side with the Butterfly aliens. What’s more, he waits in the hospital for days to make sure Harcourt was OK.
While Holland says Gunn isn’t “in a stage where he’s sharing” details about what season 2 holds for Chris Smith, he’s clearly built out meaningful friendships with his teammates that make him reconsider his own blind self-hatred. It’s also the sort of thing Gunn feels he can only do on TV.
“I couldn’t have Peacemaker and Harcourt’s relationship in a movie, because you would have to explain what it is within two hours,” Gunn tells Polygon. “And that’s not what the relationship is. It’s much more complex than that.”
For Holland, Harcourt’s injuries set her up to have a much more complicated relationship with her role on the team, especially since she’ll probably be the one stepping up to be the leader.
“Seeing her go through that, that period of recovery and learning to walk again, I think she really just is stripped down to like her most human vulnerable state,” says Holland, who thinks it perfectly sets up a new chapter where Harcourt lets her walls down even more. “I’d like to see Harcourt have to face herself a little bit more, because I think that she privately learns some things throughout this series, and she sort of privately goes through a bit of a journey.”
Agee, meanwhile, is hoping to get a new beard (“I’ll be happy with whatever he chooses. I just don’t want to have that ugly dyed beard when I’m walking around town by myself anymore.”) At the very least, he notes, it might be time for a new opening dance routine: “There’s so many people in that dance that are not in the show anymore.”
Will Amanda Waller ever get her way in the DCEU?
All three of the missions led by Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller have led to Waller losing control of the team. Whether she’d return in season 2, after her daughter Leota went public to clear Peacemaker’s name and the full details of Operation Butterfly, remains to be seen. But after losing a Suicide Squad and (probably) facing a public inquisition, it seems safe to say that she’ll come back either harsher than ever, or with much scarier higher-ups to back her up.
According to Agee, Davis was so busy with other projects that her scenes were shot separately. But he, at least, would love to see Davis and Waller back in the DCEU.
“I know she keeps getting the short end of the stick at the end of everything she’s doing lately, but I think there’s a world where she can kind of triumph.”
Why is Peacemaker seeing his dead dad?
That’s likely playing off the original Christopher Smith/Peacemaker’s psychosis (or, at least, one of the original Peacemakers). His father, like the Auggie Smith of Peacemaker, was a Nazi, albeit in this case an actual WW2 Nazi from Germany.
Most of his motivation stemmed from trying to make up for his father’s Nazi history. And in the mid-’80s reboot of the character, Christopher Smith believed that his father’s spirit (as well as the ghosts of those he killed) gathered inside his helmet and criticized him. Given the season 1 finale has Peacemaker shoot a poison dart at a hallucination of his dad only to find a lost helmet buried beneath the leaves, it seems Robert Patrick will get to hang around doing the same as Peacemaker’s dad in season 2.
What will Eagly do next?
Continue being a vital part of the team, no doubt.