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This Key Peacemaker Character Was Recast Halfway Through Filming

In just a few days, James Gunn will be making his return to the DCEU with the debut of "Peacemaker" on HBO Max. As we've already learned, "The Suicide Squad" director was given full approval on all of his character choices for the series. But what fans don't know is why Gunn chose halfway through shooting to recast one of the show's most important characters.

"We had already shot five-and-a-half episodes with another actor," Gunn explained in a recent interview.

When "Peacemaker" premieres on Thursday, January 13, it will feature a number of fresh faces making their DCEU debuts as well as several familiar characters. The show centers around series star John Cena, who reprises his role as the foul-mouthed Christopher Smith AKA Peacemaker, and follows the character as he deals with the fallout from the events of "The Suicide Squad" while tackling a new mission from Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). As for the character and actor who got replaced, it's actually someone who has not been seen in the DCEU previously. However, they play an important role in both Peacemaker's life and the series as a whole.

Vigilante was recast after five episodes of Peacemaker were already shot

It was first announced in May 2021 that the character known as Vigilante was being recast in "Peacemaker," with Deadline reporting that original actor Chris Conrad was "leaving amicably" and that his departure was due to "creative differences." He was ultimately replaced by Freddie Stroma from Netflix's "Bridgerton" and "The Crew." Now, it turns out that Stroma came on after five episodes of "Peacemaker" had already been shot with Conrad. Speaking with Screen Rant, James Gunn has finally explained what went into the decision to replace Conrad with Stroma so far into production on "Peacemaker."

"Yeah. He [Stroma] came in late," Gunn said. "[Conrad]'s an incredibly talented guy, but we were on different pages about certain things, and I don't think he wanted to continue on the series in the long run. So we brought Freddie in, five-and-a-half episodes in, and I reshot all of his scenes."

In early reviews of the series, the Vigilante character has been described by critics as one of the highlights of "Peacemaker," with some saying he makes up for much of what Cena's character lacks this time around. "[Vigilante] seems to take particularly gleeful delight in committing violence — so much so that he almost makes Peacemaker look like a pacifist by comparison," writes Carly Lane in their review for Collider. "And therein lies the biggest issue with 'Peacemaker' — the show stops just shy of going full-throttle in terms of its lead's worst character traits, only to end up assigning them out to other, more despicable presences."