The Story Behind The Suicide Squad Trailer's "Dirty Work" Song Is Pretty Great

James Gunn was dead set on using the 1972 song for his new movie trailer.


The Suicide Squad's record-setting new trailer features a modified version of Steely Dan's iconic song, "Dirty Work," and now the composer of the remix has shed some new light. Having released in 1972, the song is close to 50 years old, but director James Gunn was intent on bringing it back for the trailer, in part because its themes match up well with what The Suicide Squad is all about.

The remix was composed by sound designer Adrian Nicholas Valdez, who is also responsible for the new edition of White Zombie's "More Human Than Human" for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

"Dirty Work" is a very slow and chill song, but Valdez told Variety that he was asked to "make it driving" to fit with the tone of The Suicide Squad.

"That was the challenge we had, so we needed to add percussion, strings, guitar, and all the things that make the song more energetic. It was a lot of work," Valdez said.

Valdez said Warner Bros. also considered using a punk song in the trailer at the start to set the mood and then cut to "Dirty Work" at the end. But Gunn ultimately only wanted "Dirty Work" and nothing else.

"But then the client-client-client--which is James Gunn, the director--said, 'No, I really want 'Dirty Work'! This is the perfect song for the movie. This is the funniest thing I could ever get for my film,'" Valdez said.

"We sent it to Warner Bros, they loved it and the director loved it," Valdez continued. "Sometimes in this trailer music industry, it gets weird and they get a different composer working the same pitch for the same project, and they use the best one, so you never know. But we won this pitch and we're pretty excited."

Gunn said on Twitter that the mysterious punk song that wasn't used in the trailer will show up in the final movie. "It works great--I just didn't like it in the trailer so much," he said, without revealing the name of the song.

On the day that the new The Suicide Squad trailer was released, "Dirty Work" became a trending topic online, and this made Gunn very happy. "Steely Dan is trending and that may be my absolute favorite part of this whole day," he said.

The Suicide Squad's red band trailer picked up more than 150 million views to surpass Mortal Kombat's record.

The Suicide Squad opens in theaters and on HBO Max (for 31 days) on August 6. The movie features a lot of characters from the comics, and Gunn recently spoke about how he was given every character he asked for.

Film studio Warner Bros. has a lot of belief in The Suicide Squad, it seems, as the company is planning to expand the universe further with a spinoff show for John Cena's Peacemaker.

For more, make sure to check out our breakdown of that first trailer to catch every single detail. Don't get too attached, however, as your favorite character could very well die--even if it's Harley herself.

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