Peacemaker’s John Cena, James Gunn on why the dance opening is so important

“Do you really wanna, do you really wanna taste it?”

If guitar riffs are currently blasting inside your brain then you have actually plainly viewed the Peacemaker opening series. If they aren’t, it’s worth stopping to go take a watch ahead of time. The 1980s rock-inspired dance series uses up more than a minute of every episode, total with flashing lights and dance relocations equivalent parts snazzy and profane. Set to Wig Wam’s “Do Ya Wanna Taste It”, the cast of Peacemaker robotically moves from Gorilla-like arm curls to pelvic thrusts.

It is precisely as James Gunn envisioned it.

“I really wanted to do a dance number where everybody was doing something incredibly ridiculous, and looked incredibly serious while they were doing it,” Gunn informs Polygon. To name a few things, he visualized it as a method to “vanquish the skip forward button” and enable individuals to see the credits of those who dealt with the program.

“I thought it was something that would, you know, be a signpost for people that this isn’t just your normal DC or Marvel TV show.”

Like all of Gunn’s music hints, Wig Wam was composed straight into the script. Gunn states the tune handled to strike a great deal of his buttons: It encapsulates the mindset of the program, the lyrics have “ramifications further on” in the series, and it is likewise simply a tune he unabashedly enjoys.

Plus the tune feels emblematic of the title character: the 2000s Norwegian glam metal band behind it missed out on the peak of the category, however they handle to discover some approximation of it that feels brand-new. Exact same, too, with Peacemaker, who — raised by a gruff and racist white daddy — just understands how to eliminate, however longs to assist.

The needle drop feels both discordant and completely borne of the values of the program, at the same time paradoxical and totally straightfaced. It’s an essential hint for the remainder of the series, especially to Peacemaker, aka Chris Smith.

Peacemaker and his dad standing at a garage doorway in a still from the pilot of Peacemaker

Picture: HBO Max

“I think that some of the rock ‘n’ roll stuff that he’s into has actually been a more positive influence on him than, say, his father has been,” Gunn states of his musical impacts for the program. He mentions that in The Suicide Team, Peacemaker dances with Ratcatcher 2, “which is the only moment he’s happy in the entire movie.” Throughout the very first season of Peacemaker, Chris likewise discovers little minutes to dance or perhaps carry out music.

“It’s just a part of the story, it’s a part of who the character is […] I think that it’s just a part of his sort of secret joy that he has with him, you know, that he only practices by himself, for the most part, his relationship to music is a very private thing.”

John Cena, who plays Peacemaker, likewise chooses his musicality to remain in personal. His dance number at the end of the pilot (shot, according to Gunn, on Cena’s very first day on set) involved dancing to The Quireboys’ “I Don’t Love You Anymore” in his underclothing. It’s a set piece Cena was less than enjoyed shoot.

“I don’t dance; it’s something I’m not very comfortable with,” Cena informs Polygon. “[And] even in a COVID, restricted environment watching you do your thing.”

Still, he handled to accept the minute as an “end zone celebration dance for the Super Bowl” on Peacemaker’s end.

Peacemaker dancing in the first episode of the show. He’s shot through an open wall, holding up the number three with his back facing away from the camera.

Image: HBO Max

“I think it’s more of an expression of him being happy or having a flash of fulfillment or meaning. And that’s why it doesn’t need to take any shape or form, it can be off key,” Cena states. “It shows a very human side to Peacemaker […] and I appreciate James for trying to push me into that uncomfortable space because it doesn’t need to be anything more than it is; it’s just a freedom of being fulfilled.”

Cena felt more positive when recording the opening, flanked by the primary and supporting cast of Peacemaker in the arranged dance number. A minimum of because case many individuals felt simply as shocked as he was at what they were being asked to do.

“Well, the first time I heard about the dance sequence, James was pitching it to me while he was writing the script. And I was like, ‘Cool. I don’t know what you’re talking about,’” Jennifer Holland states. The couple of hour-and-a-half-long wedding rehearsals were done after recording covered for the day, with little insight into what the completed item may really appear like. “[James] was explaining some sort of like, emotionless, weird thing. And I was like, ‘Let’s do it; sounds great.’”

Gunn generated choreographer to assist equate his concepts for motion into a real regular — rather actually miming the awkwardness he wished to stimulate with the series. Considered that their wedding rehearsals all occurred in a production workplace, appearing to a high school auditorium for the (complete) day of shooting came as a shock.

Robert Patrick (who plays Chris’ father Auggie) seemed like he was “going to screw it up” and simply keeps in mind being extremely concentrated on those in front of him; Steve Agee (John Economos) feared of the “crazy” fluorescent purple lights. Chukwudi Iwuji, who plays Murn, possibly summed it up finest: It resembled shooting an MTV video, and produced an experience he’ll always remember.

“I say that was truly one of the most joyous days of filming, I can remember. Purely joy, just gleeful, crazy joy,” Iwuji states. “[Though] I feel like my wife might leave me soon if I don’t stop singing that in the shower. She might just say enough is enough.”

The very first 3 episodes of Peacemaker are now streaming on HBO Max. New episodes drop every Thursday.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.