June 25, 2024

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John Cena’s Empanadas Are The Suicide Squad’s Answer To Leto’s Joker Pranks

After chomping down too many empanadas while playing Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad, John Cena has become Jared Leto’s Joker from 2016.

It’s not every day that John Cena, empanadas and The Joker are written in the same sentence, but that’s the brand of craziness we’ve come to expect from The Suicide Squad. Directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad half-follows the 2016 DCEU original, but introduces a largely new crop of characters, none of which you should get attached to. Among The Suicide Squad‘s main team is John Cena’s Peacemaker – a highly trained assassin who’ll go to any lengths in the name of patriotism and justice (even lengths that aren’t especially patriotic or just).

During The Thinker’s interrogation scene, Task Force X are enjoying a quick bite to eat, with Peacemaker chowing down on empanadas in the background. John Cena apparently took it upon himself to eat a whole one, and 30 takes later, the actor had consumed 31 empanadas that were perilously close to resurfacing. Anyone familiar with Cena’s WWE career will recognize this as a very “John Cena” thing to do. The 16-time champ is known for always going above and beyond, so if eating an entire empanada gives even the slightest improvement to a scene, you can bet Cena’s tucking in.


Related: The Suicide Squad Proves Henry Cavill Was Right About The DCEU’s Mistakes

Indeed, John Cena has taken to his Peacemaker role with no small amount of gusto, wearing the costume in interviews, at red carpet events and, presumably, around the house on a Sunday afternoon. The empanada incident is another sign of his commitment to the Peacemaker gig, as eating an unhealthy amount of Spanish pastries in the name of giving 100% is exactly what Peacemaker would do. The determination is Cena’s own “beach full of dicks,” but much tastier.

Peacemaker bloodied and beaten without his helmet in Jotunheim in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad

And it’s this unhealthy dedication to his craft that makes John Cena the “Jared Leto” of The Suicide Squad. On the set of 2016’s David Ayer movie, Leto infamously played “pranks” on other cast members, in keeping with his part as the Clown Prince of Crime. Aside from staying in character throughout production, Leto sent Will Smith a box of bullets, mailed Margot Robbie a love letter with a rat, gave Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje a sticky Playboy issue, and dished out sex toys as wrap gifts when a bottle of wine would’ve sufficed. Though Leto’s antics blur the lines between method acting and tastelessness, Cena’s empanada marathon is a more amusing, lighthearted way of honoring his character’s persona. Even so, both men took their Suicide Squad dedication to unnecessary extremes for no obvious reason. Leto’s kookiness on-set isn’t reflected in his performance whatsoever, and the empanda scene is so short, it wouldn’t have mattered if Cena ate 1 or 31.

Ultimately, the behind-the-scenes story of Jared Leto’s Joker was far more interesting than anything he did in the film itself. The mythology of inappropriate presents and creepy behavior has endured far better than DCEU Joker, and ended up covering for just how ineffectual the character felt in Suicide Squad‘s theatrical cut – but is the same true of John Cena’s Peacemaker? Certainly not to the same extent. Compared to Leto’s Joker, Peacemaker is a far more interesting character who gets some big laughs, solid action, and a nice final act twist.

With that said, Peacemaker isn’t the first The Suicide Squad character you’d put forward for a solo series, with Bloodsport, Ratcatcher 2 and even Polka-Dot Man generating more intrigue. Just like Jared Leto’s Joker, part of Peacemaker’s appeal does emanate from John Cena’s behind-the-scenes exploits – his weird costumed interviews, the empanada-based stomach abuse, the borderline-obsessive drive to live inside his character’s head. The Suicide Squad might have very little to do with the 2016 original, but it seems the spirit of Jared Leto’s Joker lives on through John Cena and Peacemaker.

More: Every Song In The Suicide Squad

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