The past two decades have seen the superhero genre gain centre stage in Hollywood and around the world. And the two comic giants – Marvel & DC – who have been at the centre of the buzz, have continued to entertain fans with cool CGI-filled superhero movies. But as the new decade begins and more comic storylines are being converted into a screenplay, it doesn’t look like the superhero rave is waning anytime soon. However, superhero movie director James Gunn feels the genre has begun to lose its initial appeal.
The Suicide Squad
James Gunn is best known for his work on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2 as well as being the only superhero movie director in the modern-day era to direct both an MCU and DC movie. This is because when Gunn was fired by Disney due to some old, controversial tweets that emerged, DC wasted no time in swooping up the brilliant director to replicate his stellar work on any DC storyline he preferred. Gunn chose The Suicide Squad, his longtime favourite and got to work creating what he has described as “by far the biggest movie I’ve ever made”.
Although a producer working on the movie, Peter Stefran confirmed in 2019 that The Suicide Squad 2 will not be a direct sequel to the 2016 David Ayer movie, a handful of characters from the first movie will be reprising their roles – The most prominent being Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Viola Davis as Agent Amanda Waller. However, with James Gunn describing the film as “different from any superhero movie ever made”, it’s very unlikely it contains any other details from the first movie.
“I loved the idea of making a supervillain war caper film. Films like The Dirty Dozen and Where Eagles Dare, those are of different elements from the backdrop of war and the caper heist element, to the sneaking around, the high stakes, the adventure,” James explained.
Luckily, the DC universe doesn’t seem to be concerned about maintaining continuity since other popular titles like Aquaman and Shazam! are pretty much existing independently. Harley Quinn’s Birds of Prey had a one-line reference to the events of 2016’s Suicide Squad, but that’s about as close as they come to anythinh resembling continuity. Ultimately, DC seems more concerned about producing blockbusters than maintaining a uniform timeline.
DC’s New Villains
James Gunn’s Suicide Squad is set to introduce a ton of new supervillains into the DC universe. While some of them are familiar, most of them are new to the squad as well as to a lot of fans who aren’t familiar with the comics.
Blackguard, a high-tech, armored villain who antagonizes the time-travelling hero, Booster Gold in the comics, is joining the team and will be played by Pete Davidson. The Thinker, a Flash villain is Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi while David Dastmalchian, a Batman villain from the comics, plays Polka-Dot Man.
Of course, the headline cast remains Idris Elba’s addition to the team as BloodSport and WWE Superstar John Cena as Peacemaker. Bloodsport is a villain from the comics who has taken on Superman a couple of times, while the Peacemaker looks like a very strong poster boy.
Nathan Fillion has been cast as T.D.K which is short for “The Detachable Kid”; a new acronym for an old DC character from DC’s Legion of SuperHeroes. Other villain castings include Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher; a vermin controlling Batman villain, Flula Borg as comic Green Lantern villain, Javelin and Mayling Ng as Alien conqueror, Mongal.
Gunn recently revealed on Twitter that Sylvester Stallone will be voicing King Shark – a giant walking shark – as part of the supervillain team. Other squad members include Micheal Rooker as genius blackmailer, Savant and Gunn’s brother, Sean Gunn will reportedly wear the mo-cap suit for a character named Weasel.
Task Force X
The new Suicide Squad will feature Gunn’s new Task Force X team as they embark on a succeed or die trying mission in the South American terrain. The team has been tasked by Amanda Waller to locate a Nazi-era for some unknown reason. But their mission would eventually lead them to one very interesting DC villain from the comics; Starro. And if the name hasn’t already given it away, Starro is a Kaiju-like starfish who is popularly known from the comics as the first villain to challenge the Justice League.
“I think it’s about bringing in other elements from different genres.” Gunn said. “It gave me a great excuse to be able to create a film [in] a genre I’ve loved since I was a little kid, and do it in a big way and not have to hold back.”
With starfish villains, talking sharks and vermin controlling aliens running around, it’ll be interesting to see if the movie lives up to its billing.
The Suicide Squad will be released in theaters on August 6, 2021, and it will also be available for free streaming on HBO Max for HBO Max subscribers on the same day, as with other Warner Bros. films in 2021.