James Gunn Confirmed As Suicide Squad 2 Writer; May Also Direct
Marvel's loss is DC's gain.
Update: When reached for comment, Warner Bros. told GameSpot, "It is confirmed that James Gunn is writing the next installment of the Suicide Squad franchise." That means it's no longer a possibility, but Gunn has indeed signed on to write the next Suicide Squad movie. It remains to be seen whether he will also direct the project, though it was reported that is a distinct possibility.
Furthermore, Guardians star Dave Bautista has seemingly expressed interest in starring in Gunn's new movie. Just what role he'd play (or if this was even his intention) remains to be seen, but Bautista has been a vocal supporter of Gunn since Disney fired him.
Also speaking out on the subject has been David Ayer, director of the first Suicide Squad. For his part, he thinks the choice of Gunn was a wise one. The original story follows.
It looks like Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has found his rebound relationship after being dumped by Marvel Studios. It's being reported that Gunn is in talks to jump to Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, where he would write and possibly direct the next Suicide Squad movie.
The news comes from io9, which is reporting that Warner Bros. has confirmed discussions with Gunn. The plan, at this point, is for him to write the sequel "with an eye to direct." According to io9, the man behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and 2 will have "a completely new take on the property."
This all comes after Gunn was fired by Marvel Studios from helming the third Guardians of the Galaxy film, after a series of old tweets resurfaced. Thus far, Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, has not announced a replacement director for Gunn or whether it will use the script he'd already written for the movie. However, star Dave Bautista (Drax) has publicly said if the script isn't used, he would ask to be released from his contract.
The tweets in question were from nearly a decade ago, in which Gunn made jokes about rape and pedophilia. Though Gunn had previously apologized for the messages and did so when they resurfaced, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement, "The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him."
Since then, the entire Guardians cast has signed a public letter supporting their director, while the third installment in the franchise has been put on hold indefinitely, according to Bautista. The film was reportedly scheduled to start production in early 2019, with a projected release in 2020.
Gunn joining the project will likely mean an even longer wait for Suicide Squad 2, though there was very little indication of when fans would see the movie anyway. It was reported over a year ago that The Accountant director Gavin O'Connor would helm the film, but there's been no real news since then.
In the meantime, a new Joker film, starring Joaquin Phoenix, has gone into production, while Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is set to appear in a Birds of Prey movie. Now, with Gunn potentially taking on Suicide Squad 2, DC's villains could be in good shape for the coming years.