James Gunn on How That Viral ‘Peacemaker’ Crossover Cameo Came to Be: ‘Marvel Owed DC’

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[Editor’s Note: The following story contains spoilers for the season finale of “Peacemaker.”]

There’s never really peace without justice.

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HBO Max’s “Peacemaker” finale included a very special appearance from the Justice League — albeit after the climactic fight between Peacemaker (John Cena) and the alien Butterflies goes down.

“We didn’t have the budget for them to show up on time. Never been able to do it. They had to show up late,” showrunner James Gunn joked to Variety.

Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller reprise their “Justice League” roles of Aquaman and The Flash, respectively, for a comedic sequence that was partially filmed during Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

“I think before we ever shot the show, we talked to Jason [Momoa] about it. We were like, ‘Listen, [Peacemaker] says you fuck fish all the time.’ And we were a little afraid he would be upset, but he just laughed. He was cool,” Gunn said. “So he was pretty much on board from the beginning. And then Ezra I just found out through some common friends liked my movies a lot. And so I asked if he would come in and shoot this scene, and he kindly agreed to do that. Actually, Marvel shot [Ezra] for us, while we’re shooting ‘Guardians Vol. 3.'”

Gunn continued, “I mean, Marvel owed DC, because the ‘Peacemaker’ crew shot my screen test for [‘Peacemaker’ co-star] Chukwudi [Iwuji] for ‘Guardians Vol. 3.’ And then we got Ezra with the ‘Guardians Vol. 3’ crew.”

So where was the rest of the Justice League?

Well, shadows in the finale implied that Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Superman (Henry Cavill) were also on the battlefield, but Batman (Ben Affleck) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) were noticeably absent. (Gadot and Cavill’s respective roles had stand-ins for the scene.)

“There are reasons for [their absence], but I’m actually uncertain whether I can say what those reasons are,” Gunn said of Batman and Cyborg seemingly out of the Justice League. “It might have to do with future stuff.”

Gunn concluded, “I think the full weight of it and, you know, what does this mean for the DCU and all of that became huge pieces of conversation up to the very highest levels of Warners. And to their credit, they let me get away with it.”

“Peacemaker” was recently renewed for a second season.

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