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

“Do you really want, do you really want to taste it?”

If the guitar riff has exploded inside your brain, you’ve clearly seen it People of Peace opening sequence. If not, you should stop go see it first. The 1980s rock-inspired dance scene takes up more than a minute of each episode, complete with flashing lights and somewhat colorful and obscene dance moves. Set to “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” by Wig Wam, the cast of People of Peace The robot moves from a bent gorilla-like arm to thrust into the pelvis.

It was exactly what James Gunn imagined.

“I really wanted to do a dance where people were doing something really ridiculous, and looking super serious while they were doing it,” Gunn told Polygon. Among other things, he envisions it as a way to “beat the forward button” and let people see the attribution of people who have worked on the show.

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

Like all of Gunn’s musical cues, Wig Wam was written directly into the script. Gunn says the song hit a lot of his buttons: It embraces the attitude of the performance, the lyrics have a “deeper divide” in the series, and it’s also just one song that he he loves.

Plus, the song feels iconic to the title character: the 2000s Norwegian glam metal band behind it missed the pinnacle of the genre., but they managed to find an approximation of it feeling new. Similarly, with Peacemaker, who – raised by a gruff and racist white father – knows only to kill but longs to help.

Dropping the needles feels both discordant and completely characterizing to the show, while at the same time sarcastic and utterly candid. It’s an important cue for the rest of the series, especially with Peacemaker, aka Chris Smith.

Peacemaker and his father stand in the garage doorway in a still photo from Peacemaker's pilot

Photo: HBO Max

“I think some of the rock ‘n’ roll things that he loves actually have a more positive effect on him than his dad ever did,” Gunn said of his musical influences on him. with the program. He pointed out that in Suicide Squad, Peacemaker dances with Ratcher 2, “it’s the only moment he’s happy in the whole movie.” During the first season of People of PeaceSimilarly, Chris also finds small moments to dance or even perform music.

“It’s only part of the story, it’s part of the character […] I think that’s just part of the secret fun he has with him, you know, he just practices alone, for the most part, his relationship with music is a very personal thing. private. “

John Cena, who plays Peacemaker, also likes to keep his music private. His dance at the end of the pilot (filmed, according to Gunn, on Cena’s first day on set) involved dancing to “I Don’t Love You Anymore” by Quireboys in her underwear. It was a set scene that Cena wasn’t particularly nervous about filming.

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

However, he managed to capture the moment as a “late zone celebratory dance for the Super Bowl” at the end of Peacemaker.

Peace dance team in the first episode of the show. He was shot through an open wall, raised the number three and turned his back away from the camera.

Image: HBO Max

“I think it’s a sign of him being happy or having a glimmer of fulfillment or meaning. And that’s why it doesn’t have to have any shape or form, it can be inaccurate,” says Cena. “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 have to be anything more than it is; it is just a freedom to be fulfilled. ”

Cena felt more confident filming the opening sequence, supported by the main and supporting cast of People of Peace in the organized universe. At least in that case, many were as surprised as he was at what they were asked to do.

“Well, when I first heard of the dance scene, James presented it to me while he was writing the script. And I said, ‘Great. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Jennifer Holland. Rehearsals lasting several and a half hours were carried out after the end of the day’s filming, with very few details on what the finished product would actually look like. “[James] was explaining some of the same, emotionless, weird stuff. And I said, ‘Do it; wonderful sound. ‘”

Gunn invited the choreographer to help translate his ideas of movement into a realistic routine – literally mimicking the awkwardness he hoped to evoke with the shot. Given that their rehearsals all took place in a production office, showing up in a high school auditorium for the (full) day of filming was a shock.

Robert Patrick (who plays Auggie, Chris’ father) feels as though he’s “going to go wrong” and just remembers being so focused on the people in front of him; Steve Agee (John Economos) was amazed by the “crazy” purple fluorescent lights. Chukwudi Iwuji, who plays Murn, probably summed it up best: It’s like shooting an MTV music video, and creating an experience he’ll never forget.

“I would say it was really one of the funnest filming days I can remember. Iwuji said. “[Though] I feel like my wife might leave me soon if I don’t stop singing that song in the shower. She might just say enough.”

The first three episodes of People of Peace Currently streaming on HBO Max. New episodes drop every Thursday.

https://www.polygon.com/22878714/peacemaker-opening-theme-song-dance-john-cena-james-gunn Peacemaker’s John Cena, James Gunn on why the opening dance is so important

Aila Slisco

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