Christopher Smith/Peacemaker, played by John Cena, is a lot of things—and one of them is very not-straight. There have been some non-subtle clues in the HBO Max show that this is the case, and in an interview in Empire’s April edition, which hits newsstands February 17, show creator James Gunn not only confirms Peacemaker’s sexuality is all-encompassing, but that it wasn’t initially his idea to bring this dimension to the character.
In the Empire article (via Slashfilm), Gunn delved into how Cena’s Peacemaker served as a foil to Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks). “She is his polar opposite in so many ways, politically,” Gunn said. “She’s a Black, gay woman. He’s a white, straight — nah, he’s not straight [laughs] — white, whatever-he-is male. And yet they really like each other.”
Gunn went on to reveal that it was John Cena who brought the bisexual/pansexual energy to his character. “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,” Gunn explained. “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.'”
As the season has progressed, we’ve seen Peacemaker come into his own, and some of that is in terms of accepting who he is, not what his racist, homophobic dad told him he was. One of the ways he does that is through his love of hair metal and glam rock.
“I think the hair metal is actually kind of a beautiful thing about Peacemaker,” Gunn said. “It does have that cocky male swagger that he has, but hair metal is also a way he rebelled against his father. There’re 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.”
You can rock out to Peacemaker on HBO Max, with the final episode set to drop on Thursday, February 17, 2022.