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With the first few episodes of HBO Max’s exciting new DC superhero series, Peacemaker, Eagly has quickly become a fan favorite. Because of the feathered sidekick’s chemistry with the cast, many are wondering if the eagle is real. 

‘Peacemaker’ follows the superhero’s latest adventure

'Peacemaker' stars John Cena, Nhut Le, Jennifer Holland, and Chukwudi Iwuji
‘Peacemaker’ stars John Cena, Nhut Le, Jennifer Holland, and Chukwudi Iwuji | HBO Max

John Cena’s Peacemaker debuted in Gunn’s 2021 movie, The Suicide Squad. The HBO Max series picks up with the superhero (let’s use that term lightly) after the film’s events, back in the US, and under the watchful eye of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis).

Upon returning home, Peacemaker visits his father, Auggie Smith (Robert Patrick), and retrieves his beloved pet bald eagle, Eagly. The bird is thrilled to see Peacemaker and hugs him. 

Eagly remains at Peacemaker’s side. And he proves to be a worthy sidekick during the hero’s initial adventures. 

Is the ‘Peacemaker’ eagle real?

Eagly does not appear in DC’s Peacemaker comic books. He was developed for the show by showrunner James Gunn, who revealed the character was inspired by the real-life story of Freedom the Eagle. And while the bald eagle may look remarkably real, Gunn told The Hollywood Reporter that he’s a CGI figure created by Weta Digital — a studio he worked with for characters for his previous films.

“King Shark was very, very difficult to get right, and it went through a lot of different iterations. But Eagly is an eagle, so we went to Weta [Digital], who did a lot of King Shark, and [visual effects supervisor] Guy Williams, who I’ve worked with on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Suicide Squad, and now on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. They already had an eagle, so we started there and then built our own eagle out of that.”

James Gunn, The Hollywood Reporter

In a tweet, Gunn confirmed that he tried to use a real eagle for the series but noted, “The eagle didn’t seem too pleased about it & I didn’t want to upset the poor thing (it was even less friendly than Eagly).” The showrunner also revealed that the feathered sidekick is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, the actor who voiced Sebastian the Rat in The Suicide Squad.

James Gunn and John Cena aren’t surprised Eagly is a fan favorite

Eagly is easily the breakout star of Peacemaker. And while working on the series, Gunn warned the cast, including his girlfriend, Jennifer Holland, that this could happen. 

“I’m like, ‘Eagly’s going to steal the show. Everybody’s going to love Eagly,'” he told Collider. “I’m like, ‘You were great in that scene, Jen. You were amazing, but unfortunately, you’re in the scene with Eagly, so he’s the one that people are going to be talking about in that scene.’ They just have to deal with it. Eagly’s the true star of the show.”


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Cena also acknowledged Eagly’s star quality at a promotional event for the series. “He’s Peacemaker’s pet eagle, and he’s Peacemaker’s best friend,” the actor said. “As a dowel with some green tape on it, Eagly stole the show.”

New episodes of Peacemaker air Thursdays on HBO Max.