James Gunn Confirms What We All Suspected About John Cena's DC Future

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
John Cena, Peacemaker

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn confirmed an unsurprising update about John Cena's status as Peacemaker in the DCU

Peacemaker managed to complete its story from start to finish in Season 1, but its Season 2 renewal made it clear that Christopher Smith's adventures are far from over. 

Ahead of the show's sophomore run, there were concerns that John Cena would not return as Peacemaker due to the impending DC reboot. In May 2023, the 16-time WWE Champion even played coy about his future by saying, "Whether the future of DC involves Peacemaker or not, [I'm] excited for the future of DC."

James Gunn Confirms John Cena's Place In New DCU

John Cena in Peacemaker

In a post from Threads, James Gunn directly confirmed that John Cena will be part of the rebooted DCU as Christopher Smith, a.k.a. Peacemaker. 

Alongside Cena, Gunn also mentioned that Xolo Maridueña and Viola Davis will also return as Blue Beetle and Amanda Waller, respectively. 

"Xolo Maridueña will continue playing Blue Beetle in the DCU, as Viola Davis will Amanda Waller, and John Cena will Peacemaker."

In another post, Gunn clarified that "some actors will be playing characters" they've previously played in the DCEU, before saying that "nothing is canon" until Creature Commandos and Superman: Legacy

"And, yes, some actors will be playing characters they’ve played in other stories & some plot points might be consistent with plot points from the dozens of films, shows & animated projects that have come from DC in the past. But nothing is canon until CC and Legacy."

In February 2022, Cena expressed his excitement about Peacemaker Season 2, with him confirming that he will return as the titular character:

"Learning about and eventually becoming Peacemaker was an exercise in exploring the fun and absolutely genius mind of James Gunn. It’s been a privilege to work on this show and with the cast, crew, and HBO Max team. Elated to say we’ll be back to create more peace for Season [2]."

What To Expect in Peacemaker Season 2

James Gunn's latest confirmation about John Cena's status as Peacemaker in the DCU is an exciting update that should halt speculation about his DC future. 

While there may be some confusion on which events are canon to Peacemaker's story, Season 2 is expected to address this matter, considering that Gunn will be involved in the show's return. 

It's also likely that DC Studios will decide to brand Peacemaker Season 2 differently to inform viewers that it's a soft reboot, similar to how Marvel Studios gave Daredevil: Born Again a subtitle to separate it from Netflix's Defenders shows. 

Given that Peacemaker Season 1 had a complete story, it offers many storytelling opportunities for Season 2, which will likely lead to new villains and allies while still incorporating what has been established like Amanda Waller's involvement and the return of Emilia Harcourt and Vigilante. 

As for its release date, Gunn has been hard at work in developing Superman: Legacy, but he did mention that he will start crafting ideas for Peacemaker Season 2 after he is finished with the first DCU movie. 

This would mean that it will be a while before fans will find out what's next for John Cena's titular vigilante.

Peacemaker Season 1 is streaming on Max.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.