Home Entertainment DC gave James Gunn “full freedom to kill anyone” in The Suicide Squad

DC gave James Gunn “full freedom to kill anyone” in The Suicide Squad

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If there’s one thing James Gunn knows how to do, it’s work with an ensemble cast of idiosyncratic characters in a very colourful setting. The fan-favourite writer/director went from indie film weirdo to global super-stardom with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. The film was such a huge success that when rivals Warner Bros put together Suicide Squad, their own DC Comics misfits team-up movie, the studio infamously created a GOTG-inspired Comic-Con trailer that blew everybody away. Slight problem: The trailer wasn’t really indicative of the more serious movie writer/director David Ayer was making. Cue a whole lot of last-minute studio meddling to rewire the film’s tone that led to Suicide Squad being a big critical misfire.

But WB is getting a do-over with The Suicide Squad (yes, they just added “The” to the front of the title) and in a perfect bit of symmetry, it’s Gunn who is writing and directing this one. Now the filmmaker can actually bring those GOTG sensibilities to bear on this film, just as that trailer once promised. But as Gunn told Empire, there’s one major difference in his mandate for The Suicide Squad.

I think you know, from pretty close to the beginning, that all of the Guardians are good – apart from Nebula, who’s the outlier. But in The Suicide Squad, some of the characters end up being good, some end up being terrible. They don’t just get in fights and say they’re going to kill each other, they actually do get in fights and kill each other. You really don’t know who’s going to live and who’s going to die. I was given full freedom to kill anyone – and I mean anyone – by DC.

We already know that John Cena’s Peacemaker is being hailed as a breakout character in the film, to the point that he’s getting his own HBO Max TV series. But even with that announcement, Gunn was quick to point out that they’re not revealing if the show is set before or after the events of The Suicide Squad as even a star character like that may not make it out alive.

And the same goes for the rest of the star-studded cast, which boasts the likes of Idris Elba, Peter Capaldi, Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, Alice Braga, and more. It also sees the return of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller and Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang from the first film for this sequel. But is it a sequel? Or is it a soft reboot? The confusing title sure is not clarifying matters.

Um, it’s its own thing. It does not contradict the first movie, I don’t think. It might in some small ways… I don’t know…

Well, thanks! That clears up absolutely nothing! What I am very clear on though is just how hyped I am for this film. As the recent DC FanDome sneak-peek showed us, this film is looking like all sorts of spectacular crazy fun. The list of characters is absolutely absurd (just look at David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man!) and with talks that The Suicide Squad will be “heavily R-rated”, it definitely looks like Gunn is being allowed to pull out all the stops. I can’t wait!

Unfortunately, that wait is going to be a long one as The Suicide Squad is only set to hit theatres on 6 August 2021.

Last Updated: October 27, 2020

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