James Gunn's Suicide Squad: Everything We Know About The DC Reboot
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The 2016 DC movie Suicide Squad might not have been a hit with critics, but there's no denying it was a box office success. The film, which was directed by David Ayer (Bright, Fury), made more than $746 million at the worldwide box office and was one of that year's biggest grossing films. The sequel was announced in early 2017, with Mel Gibson and Jaume Collet-Serra considered as directors, before The Accountant's Gavin O'Connor signed on in September that year.
However, that movie didn't happen. Actor Joel Kinnamon suggested the movie would start shooting in 2018, but it was never given a release date by DC and never went into production. In October 2018, Variety's Justin Kroll reported that the plot O'Connor was developing for Suicide Squad 2 was very close to that of Birds of Prey, which was in development at DC at the same time. When Birds of Prey was greenlit ahead of his Suicide Squad sequel, O'Connor left the project.
Nevertheless, a different Suicide Squad movie is on the way. The film, titled The Suicide Squad, is currently set for a 2021 release. And while it's not a direct sequel like O'Connor's movie was intended to be, it's not a complete reworking either, as some of the first film's cast are returning to the same roles. But while there is still a lot of mystery about the film, quite a bit of information has been confirmed--and there's more info on the way. Suicide Squad has been confirmed for DC's online event, DC FanDome, on August 22. It will showcase a panel at noon PT / 3 PM ET with writer/director James Gunn for a "fast paced, no holds barred Squad Showtown" of questions.
Who's the director?
James Gunn is the writer and director of The Suicide Squad. Gunn is, of course, also the writer/director of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy movies, and is the first filmmaker to work for both the MCU and the modern DC movies. Gunn was hired by DC after he temporarily left the Marvel family following the controversy over his old tweets in 2018--but has since returned and will make Guardians 3 after The Suicide Squad. Gunn was initially announced as The Suicide Squad's writer, before it was confirmed he would direct as well.
What's the release date?
The Suicide Squad is currently schedued to hit theaters on August 6, 2021. Although many movies set to be released over the next two years have been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Suicide Squad had already completed production before much of Hollywood was shut down. In April, Gunn tweeted: "Right now there's no reason for The Suicide Squad release date to move. We are on or ahead of schedule. We were extremely fortunate to wrap shooting and set up editing from our homes (due to a post-production team and studio with foresight) before quarantine."
Who's new to the cast?
Since this isn't a direct sequel to the first Suicide Squad movie, there are a lot of new names in the cast. Many of the characters were officially announced during DC FanDome in August, and this is the line-up so far:
- Alice Braga as Solsoria
- Daniela Melchoir as Ratcatcher 2
- David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man
- Flula Borg as Javelin
- Idris Elba as Bloodsport
- Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt
- Joaquín Cosío as General Mateo Suarez
- John Cena as Peacemaker
- Juan Diego Botto as Luna
- Mayling Ng as Mongal
- Michael Rooker as Savant
- Nathan Fillion as TDK
- Pete Davidson as Blackguard
- Peter Capaldi as Thinker
- Sean Gunn as Weasel
- Steve Agee as King Shark
- Storm Reid as Tyla
One name missing from this list is Taika Waititi. Could he be the voice of King Shark?
Who's coming back?
Despite the predominantly new cast, there are a handful of stars returning to world of Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie will play Harley Quinn for the third time, following her performance in the 2016 movie and this year's Birds of Prey. She'll be joined by Viola Davis as government agent Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang.
If it's not a sequel, what is it?
The filmmakers of The Suicide Squad have emphasized that it's not a direct follow-up to the first movie. In April 2019, producer Peter Safran told ComicBook.com: "It's not Suicide Squad 2. It is not a sequel," and described it as a "total reboot." What that means exactly is unclear, since four of the first movie's cast are back in the same roles that they played in 2016. But even though the filmmakers are keen to distance themselves from the first movie, its director David Ayer has given James Gunn his blessing. "I think it's an incredibly brave and smart move by the studio," he said. "James is the right man for the job."
What's the story?
Very few plot details have been revealed so far, but we can guess a few things. In the behind-the-scenes video released during DC FanDome, producer Peter Safran described the movie as "a gritty 1970s war movie." The footage revealed in the video certainly supports this, with jungle warfare and armies fighting on beaches. Will the Suicide Squad be dispatched to fight in a war for the US government?
One thing we do know is that the film will be funny. In an interview with Variety, Kinnaman said: "[Gunn has] written a fantastic script. It's so funny... I feel like I'm shooting my first comedy."
In addition, we can expect many of the characters to die. Gunn recently revealed that DC gave him "carte blanche to do what I wanted" when it comes to the fate of characters, and that potentially includes recurring DC characters such as Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller.
Is there any footage or images?
While we'’re yet to see an official clip or trailer for the movie, various images and behind-the-scenes material has been released. The first reveal was during DC FanDome, where the on-set teaser showed Gunn shooting the movie, giving us a hint at some of the action-packed scenes we'll see next year and provided a preview of the new characters. The December 2020 issue of Empire provides an even better look at our "heroes," including Bloodshot, Peacemaker, Polka-Dot Man, and Ratcatcher 2.