In no-brainer news, former world champion wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista — who charms audiences as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy, GotG, Vol. 2, and Avengers: Infinity War — is a rumored name for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Whatever character he might play is up for grabs, but a report by Collider suggests he is wanted for Peacemaker.

Dual identity Christopher Smith, Peacemaker, is an unhinged pacifist who wants peace, even if he has to kill for it. The walking contradiction was acquired by DC from Charlton Comics and has almost no connection to Waller’s Task Force X. His biggest rival is actually the Jaime Reyes version of Blue Beetle. (Interestingly, both were models for members of The Watchmen — Comedian and Nite Owl respectively.)

Considering the backstory and complex history of Peacemaker, it’s easy to see him as either a villain or a not-so-reluctant member of the Squad. If Gunn wanted to go the latter route, and really take a chance, he could cast Bautista as Bane instead, as some fans suggested, and make him the chief villain. He certainly has the build and imposing presence to pull it off.

Although that idea would be exciting to see made manifest, Gunn, on the contrary, is making it his life’s work to cull the pages of back issues for deep cuts he can turn to gold. Look at Star-Lord, any of the Guardians, Yondu, or Ego. The Suicide Squad sounds like it will be no different. Possibly joining Peacemaker in the new lineup are obscure Batman villains Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher, the returning Harley Quinn and Deadshot (presumably played by Idris Elba this time), and — the one we’ve all been waiting for, Flash enemy and a charter member of Task Force X — King Shark.

These are unconfirmed rumors mostly but all will be revealed soon. The Suicide Squad will likely head into production this fall to meet an Aug. 6, 2021, release. If so, “The Animal” will have to settle his kayfabe scores and keep his schedule clear toward the end of summer.

Big Dave returned to WWE in the last few weeks and is currently embroiled in another feud with his past mentor, Paul “Triple H” Levesque. The two will probably duke it out at WrestleMania, WWE’s landmark annual event, in April.

His involvement in Suicide Squad has been hinted for months due to his loyalty to Gunn. When the director was relieved of his duties by Disney after old tweets joking about pedophilia surfaced, Bautista stood by him and threatened to quit if Gunn’s script for Guardians 3 wasn’t used.

Condemning the group who found Gunn’s tweets as “cybernazis,” Bautista later likened his employers at Disney Corp. to fascists for the firing and putting the movie on hold. He even questioned if he wanted to work for them anymore. He showed he is resolute in those doubts when he tweeted his desire to “sign up” for the new Suicide Squad soon after it was announced Gunn had been hired.

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Writer, journalist, comic reader. I cover DC. Fan since Batman TAS was brand new. Favorite character is between Swamp Thing and Darkwing Duck.

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