Jaume Collet-Sera leads four more directors joining Mel Gibson on the list for Suicide Squad 2

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I can still remember what a surreal moment it was to read the news a few weeks back that Warner Bros. was actually seriously considering Mel Gibson to direct their DC Comics cinematic universe follow-up to last year’s Suicide Squad now that original director David Ayer would instead be helming the Harley Quinn focused Gotham City Sirens spinoff. Just a wee bit before that we had dropped Gibson’s name into a list of potential directors for The Batman, but it was more of a jokey “this will never happen” kind of pick. Warner Bros. clearly wouldn’t find that joke funny.

As awesome and mindblowing as it would be to get Gibson – who just a few years back was a Hollywood pariah and more recently publicly crapped over WB’s Batman v Superman – to helm Suicide Squad 2, it would appear though that his is not the only name in the mix. Gibson did indicate that discussions with the studio was still in the very early phase, so it would make sense that they’ve lined up a few more hopefuls. And it’s reportedly not a bad bunch of filmmakers at all!

The report comes the latest Meet the Movie Press podcast with Mashable’s Jeff Sneider and Forbes’ Simon Thompson, who claim that joining Gibson on that list is Jaume Collet-Sera, Daniel Espinosa, Ruben Fleischer, and Jonathan Levine. That is definitely a lot of different talent right there.

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Collet-Sera is probably the most high-profile of the bunch at the moment and the likeliest candidate having spent most of his career crafting very solid Liam Neeson action thrillers for WB like Non-Stop, Run the Night and Unknown. He had his big breakout last year though with the incredibly well-made (well, right up until the final 5 minutes), edge of your seat shark thriller The Shallows. Besides for his action setpiece chops, he showed in that film that he also knows how to work well with CGI, which will definitely be a useful skill for Suicide Squad 2.

Espinosa boasted similar skills in his work on Safe House and the upcoming sci-fi thriller Life, whereas Fleischer and Levine have both also added a more comedic slant with their respective work. In the case of Levine, he’s jumped around in genres a lot with the likes of dramedy (50/50), zombie romantic-comedy (Warm Bodies) and straight comedy (The Night Before), but the results hasn’t always been excellent. Interestingly, Fleischer’s work on Zombieland and Gangster Squad once had him in the running to write/direct a potential Justice League movie way before Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel even hit the screens, so he also has an existing relationship with WB.

Despite the poor critical reception it got, Suicide Squad still went on to make three quarters of a billion dollars, so its sequel is definitely a big deal for WB. Gibson is by far the biggest name on the list and with his recent Oscar nominations for Hacksaw Ridge, his career is definitely back on the rise, but there’s still a significant portion of filmgoers who aren’t as quick to forget the incendiary statements he made that had him booted to the Hollywood fringes in the first place. Would WB risk that or would they go with a safer choice? There’s no release date yet for Suicide Squad, and with WB’s DC Comics movie lineup apparently in a bit of disarray at the moment, there could still be plenty of time for this story to develop.

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Last Updated: March 23, 2017

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • miaau

    I am glad the original director is gone. The first movie was a huge list of almost and could have beens, as regards pacing and character path. I think editing and so forth has a lot more to do with the end result than we, the lay person, thinks. I remember reading an article once by a famous actress who said she was always nice to the person doing the editing, as they could make you look good. They edit in such a way that the sultry look you gave, in another context, looks perfectly in place in that scene, in that place and time. I.e., her words, the editors can make you look like a great actor or a poor actor, regardless of your own acting skill. Wish I could remember who that was.

    Kervyn or anybody else, any thoughts on this (importance of director and editing on final outcome), being a film school kind of person?

    • Original Heretic

      I’m not Kervyn. Does that I’m not allowed to answer your question?

      • miaau

        Yeah, sure.

        • Original Heretic

          And here I was, setting myself up for rejection! *choking up* thanks, bro.

          They’re both important (editing and director). SUPER important.

          Editing can change the entire movie, no doubt about that. It can change the pace, the tone, the message of the movie completely.
          When the original Star Wars was first edited, it was apparently dead boring and left all those who had seen that version HATING the movie and wondering why so much time and money had been wasted. George Lucas and Paul Hirsch (thanks Google!) then took the raw footage and went into the editing room to redo it all, which gave us the version that was released back in ’77. The results speak for themselves.
          The same applies to any other movie that it edited.
          When we see continuity jumps and leaps of intuition in a movie that has us scratching our heads, wondering how the hell that character came up with those? There are very good odds that the scenes that explain those things were cut out.
          Imagine a movie like Memento, if it was told in the actual chronological order of events, it would lose 90% of its impact. It’s told the way it is thanks to the editing.

          As for the director. Jeesh…. In my opinion, that’s the most important guy in/attached to the movie. It’s his vision that shapes everything. Not only that, but also to push the actors, to inspire them, to impart his vision to them.
          Me as an amateur actor, I’ve worked with various directors in stage plays. A few goods ones that I will work with anytime, but also a couple of terrible ones that I refuse to ever work with again.
          A goods director can take an ordinary actor and make them shine. Or squash a great actor into oblivion.

          • miaau

            Yeah thanks. Nice informative read. No sarcasm meant either

          • miaau

            Yeah Well, I struggled to read brenton weeks book……

          • Original Heretic

            You what? huh? Which one(s)?!

            Jeez, I’m busy on the 4th book of Lightbringer series and loving it!

          • miaau

            I think the problem is the writing style: you need to be thinking or awake to read it.

            I have now, in the past few weeks re-read ALL the Simon R Green Blue moon / Forest Kingdom books, including the last one which I had to buy.

            Have also re-read the first three Deathstalker books (Space Opera, bloody brilliant if cliched, and cliched is the point the author wanted).

            The point is re-read: my brain is toast. I am doing system designs for large multi-disciplinary systems AND taking my turn as Lead sodding Developer (but I have written some sweet, super fast code) and the load is punishing. My brain and body are tired at night, when I so most of my reading, cradling a baby or toddler. (our toddler still falls asleep with us, then we take her to her bedroom) as I read on my phone (man, spent some money on e-books, owning hardcopy and e-books, but reading from phone is the only way I can read while cradling a kiddie)

            So, in other words, I want easy to read, mabye even stuff I have read before, to keep me going for now.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Those Deathstalker books are silly fun to read.

          • Original Heretic

            They made a movie many years ago.

          • miaau

            The movie I know called Deathstalker is actually about another Sci-fi book written in like the 60′ or 70’s, not these books.

          • Original Heretic

            Oh, ok. I just remember watching it YONKS ago!

          • miaau

            Completely and that is the point.

            I call it the Mills and Boon (books I do not understand) of the sci-fi world, just light and easy and fun to read. Something you can do with half a brain, like Half a Man.

          • Original Heretic

            Heh, okay yeah, I see your dilemma.
            I’ve rather enjoyed the Simon R Green stuff as well, good for a light laugh.

            I find Weeks to be easy to read, but that is when I’m giving myself the time to do so.

            If you want easy to read, pulpy kind of fantasy, that still is rather enjoyable, have you tried David Gemmel’s stuff?

          • miaau

            Own all (or most?) of Gemmels work, even the few books just not up to the standard of the rest.

            December re-read Legend and the books leading up to it, that he wrote AFTER he wrote Legend.

            ALSO his last two books, White Wolf and Swords of night and day, about Skilgannon. Bloody hell, that is a character well developer, of course Gemmel created Skilgannon out of several other blademasters in other books, but this last one was just so well realised and so, just, well, real by the end

          • Original Heretic

            I consider reading his stuff a guilty pleasure!

            I rather enjoyed the Skilgannon the Damned books as well, it just did irk me somewhat when he brought Druss into the tale. Again!

            As much as I love Druss, his original story is still the best. LEGEND!!
            The names for each of the 7 walls at Dros Delnoch, I get shivers whenever I read that part.

          • miaau

            Yes, Legend, hist first book, is in some ways his best book too. For example, Ironhand and Ironhands daughter… nah, not so much.

            But Gemmel had a thing with Druss a a character, he simply could not let it go. I was sort of ok with that, I really was. I was ok with it because it was truly Druss, with that moral code that would not let him take over another life for ever, doing what was needed and nothing more. Moral Code.

            Unlike, say, Feist, who you can see getting better and better at storytelling the more books he wrote. And yes, I own all Raymond E Feists books, even Fevre Dream.

          • Original Heretic

            Feist. Damn, you just named one of all time favourites. I’ve read Magician 7 times. My original copy fell apart, I had to buy another! Also have all his titles.

            Or so I thought…

            But then you went and named a Feist title I’ve never heard of. Fevre Dream? When did that come out?!? The only non-Riftwar book I know is Faerie Tale, and I have that one, too.

          • Original Heretic

            Dude…. I just Googled it. Fevre Dream was George RR Martin, not Raymond E Feist.
            Were you, in fact, referring to Faerie Tale?

          • miaau

            Yeah, I was actually at home for lunch now and your message came up on my phone. My wife said I meant Faerie Tale

            So yeah, that one. It was crap.

          • Original Heretic

            Gotta admit, when I read it about 20 years ago, I rather enjoyed it. Feist’s research into fairy lore was rather extensive.
            Though looking back, it does seem like he was just using the book as an excuse to write about fairies and share all his knowledge about them.

            From my side, having been in Midsummer Night’s Dream a couple of times, I liked the references he threw in as well.

  • Original Heretic

    Despite these other talented guys, I’d love to see what Mel brings to table with a super hero movie. His directing has always been pretty damn solid. Braveheart is still one of my favourite movies of all time.

  • Captain JJ

    Luckily I watched the first movie, so I know not to watch this one.

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