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Viola Davis may headline HBO Max’s Peacemaker spinoff series

Earlier this year, Peacemaker was such a big hit for HBO Max that it earned an early second season renewal. Now, the Peacemaker spinoff series is coming into focus. Deadline is reporting that Viola Davis is in negotiations to executive produce and star in the currently untitled show. If Davis signs on, she will reprise her role as Amanda Waller from The Suicide Squad films.

In the DC Expanded Universe, Waller is the head of Task Force X, a secret government program that blackmails supervillains into going on suicide missions for their nation. That’s where the Suicide Squad nickname comes from. Waller has also demonstrated a ruthless streak in the films, and a willingness to murder her operatives if they disobey her orders in the field. She’s not an easy character to like, but Waller isn’t evil. Instead, she’s amoral, and she doesn’t feel the need to adhere to any heroic ideals because she never claimed to be a hero.

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Unless the proposed series is going to be a political thriller set with the DCEU, it’s likely there will be some action component to the show. It would actually make more sense to shift the Suicide Squad franchise to HBO Max, since the previous film didn’t light up the box office last summer. That said, The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker have both performed very well for HBO Max, which suggests that television is where they belong.

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller in 2016's Suicide Squad.

Davis made two unannounced cameos as Waller on Peacemaker as the mother of Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), and the puppet master behind Christopher Smith/Peacemaker (John Cena) and his mission to take out an alien threat. On Waller’s orders, Leota planted evidence that incriminated Peacemaker as a murderer to cover up the alien invasion. However, Leota rebelled against her mother and cleared Peacemaker’s name before she exposed the existence of Task Force X and called for an investigation into Waller. That seems like ripe territory for the new show to explore.

If HBO Max signs Davis, it would be a coup to land the Oscar and Emmy-winning actress. Her previous TV credits include How To Get Away With Murder on ABC, and The First Lady on Showtime. She won an Academy Award for her performance in Fences.

Peacemaker creator James Gunn will executive produce the new spinoff series, which will be written by Watchmen scribe Christal Henry. Peter Safran will also executive produce the show alongside Henry and Gunn.

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