John Cena and the cast of the upcoming movie Suicide Squad are participating in an unusual crossover event to promote the film on TBS’ Wipeout. Cena has been co-hosting the wacky obstacle course-based game show alongside comedian and Nailed It host Nicole Beyer since April. He can also boast playing Peacemaker in the upcoming sequel/soft reboot of David Ayer’s 2016 version of the comic book film.
In a not-so-hidden act of synergy, John Cena is enlisting the help of his co-stars for a special, 1-hour episode of the game show on Aug. 1 in which he and Beyer will be joined by his Suicide Squad 2 co-stars Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Nathan Fillion (T.D.K.) and Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher II) virtually as they cheer on teams competing for a grand $25,000 prize. In addition, the teaser trailer released by TBS revealed that the film’s director, James Gunn, will also be on hand for the special, if for no other reason than to prevent John Cena from ruining the Peacemaker costume that he clearly absconded from the set with. Check it out:
Entertainment Weekly reports that John Cena and the entire gang will be joined in the field by host Camille Kostek for a rousing episode of falls, fails and daring stunts from amateurs trying their best to get from point A to point B without falling victim to the Wipeout course’s many obstacles. While a crossover with the otherwise family-friendly show seems like an odd place to promote the R-rated action film, even with John Cena as its host, EW notes that it’s just one of the ways that TBS and its sister networks TNT and truTV are promoting the upcoming Warner Bros. and DC Comics collaboration. All of the “TNets” are airing the Summer With Your Squad weekend of programming that kicks off July 30 to support the premiere of the film on Aug. 6.
The promotion with John Cena comes mere days after Warner Bros. dropped the latest trailer for Suicide Squad 2, offering fans a bit more insight into what they can expect from the new super team. In short, the sequel sees Viola Davis return as Amanda Waller to organize a team of incarcerated villains to stop what appears to be a giant monster on the loose known only as “Project Starfish.”
Although the film is indeed a sequel, Polygon notes that Gunn was brought on to do a soft reboot of the franchise, John Cena included. This was after Ayer’s first outing was maligned by fans and critics alike for having to be tied tonally to Zack Snyder’s dark and foreboding DC Comics universe established in the 2013 film Man of Steel. DC’s effort at the time to establish a connected universe similar to that of Marvel’s prevented Ayer’s Suicide Squad from having the levity the comic books rely on. Gunn’s first step was to completely refresh the cast, save for a few exceptions, and to bring on star power like that of John Cena, Idris Elba, Pete Davidson, and more.
Ironically, Gunn’s inclusion seems to be an effort to pivot away from the connected universe Snyder tone even though he’s partly responsible for helping craft the Marvel Cinematic Universe by way of the massively successful Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Gunn was briefly fired by Marvel from penning and directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after old, problematic tweets resurfaced and right-wing commentators called for consequences. However, Gunn was ultimately reinstated after an apology and some time away to reflect. In that time, though, he was scooped up by DC to helm a second attempt at the Suicide Squad, bringing in star power like John Cena, whose profile is extra-high right now thanks to his introduction in to the Fast and the Furious franchise.