The following details an opening credits sequence that is best first enjoyed with your eyes and ears over on HBO Max; you can then read this after.
HBO Max’s Peacemaker has a secret weapon, and it is the cast’s incredibly rewatchable, hilariously stilted dance moves in the opening credits.
Barging into each episode with the first yelps of Wig Wam’s “Do Ya Wanna Taste It,” the 90-second song-and-awkward dance number — choreographed by Charissa-Lee Barton, directed by series creator James Gunn and filmed over one day in a high school auditorium — starts off with John Cena’s chrome-domed antihero joined by Freddie Stroma’s Vigilante and and Danielle Brooks’ Adebayo, stomping through spots of light. A few beats later, Jennifer Holland’s Harcourt and and Chukwudi Iwuji’s Murn march in from the wings, joined by Steve Agee’s Economos and then Elizabeth Ludlow’s Keeya.
Midway through, Peacemaker fires his gun at the screen and we cut to Robert Patrick’s expressionless Auggie delivering a hip thrust toward the camera, after which Annie Chang’s Detective Song, Christopher Heyerdahl’s Captain Locke and Lochlyn Munro’s Detective Fitzgibbon get pulled into the dance party. Rizwan Manji’s Jamil the Janitor then crosses the floor, mop in hand, past Mel Tuck’s Old Man. And as the sequence builds to a close, Cena hoists Nhut Le’s Judomaster onto his shoulders while Eagly perfectly hits his mark and fans his wings wide.
All involved are so committed to the bit, it’s hard to imagine that any one of them had more fun than the others. But for Peacemaker executive producer Peter Safran, one name does stand apart.
“In terms of who had the most fun with the dancing… boy, I mean, honestly, I think you all seemed to love it,” Safran said to the cast during a press event. “And you all were so much better dancers than you pretended, going into it, you were going to be. It was seriously, seriously impressive.
“But if I had to pick one [who had the most fun], it’s Robert Patrick,” Safran told TVLine. “If I had to pick one, it’s Robert Patrick.”
Further breaking down the individual performances, both Safran and Gunn gave it up for Holland, who arguably exhibited the most perfectly robotic moves moves. “Jen was an amazing dancer,” Gunn said, while Safran said to the actress, “You make this one move with your hands when the lights go on … that I love every single time.”
Danielle Brooks also sang Holland’s praises, while admitting to her own amusing shortcoming once the music started playing.
“I think Jen should be the choreographer’s assistant or something because she held me down on those dance moves,” Brooks attested. “But I remember there was a moment where [James Gunn] was like, ‘Danielle, stop moving your face so much,’ because I was [getting into it] the most.”
Gunn, who in addition to directing the credits helmed five episodes including the premiere, explained that he had repeatedly to remind Brooks to express “‘no emotion.’ Danielle was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I’m like, ‘No, no, it’s [supposed to be] really goofy.'”
“And then I finally got it,” says Brooks.
What did you think of Peacemaker‘s opening credits? And if you’ve finished Episode 1 (or even the first three), grade ’em below!