- A new “Suicide Squad” movie, called “The Suicide Squad,” is in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6.
- If that’s confusing, we’re answering every non-spoiler question you may have about the new release.
- James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” isn’t a sequel or a reboot and it’s worth your time. We’ll explain.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It will feel like a spiritual sequel to the 2016 film in that it’s respectful of the film before it, but it’s not an outright, deliberate sequel to David Ayer’s movie.
Here’s how a WB rep described Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” to us when we asked for clarification: “While there are references to the first movie, it isn’t really fair to call it a follow up or a sequel because there really is no through line besides a few repeat characters.”
In an interview with The New York Times, director James Gunn said the choices for his film weren’t defined by what he saw in 2016’s “Suicide Squad.”
“I wanted it to be its own thing completely,” Gunn said. “When Warner Bros. said they wanted me to do this, I watched the first movie for the first time, and I called them back and said, what do I have to keep from this movie? And they said, nothing.”
In the film’s production notes, sent to Insider, the film is laid out as “today’s do-or-die assignment,” meaning, this is just another day in the life of the squad.
Gunn told the NYT that Warner Bros. said he could use as many of the characters from the 2016 movie as he wanted in his film, saying, “They said, listen, we would love it if Margot’s in the movie but she doesn’t have to be. You could come up with all new characters or you could keep all the same characters.”
Any characters who were in the last film together don’t pretend that they don’t know each other if they had established relationships. “TSS” just doesn’t waste time recounting what happened in the previous film.
The new film is respectful to the DCEU films that came before it and builds on the evolution of Harley’s character from the previously released titles.
“They proposed that to me,” Gunn told the NYT. “Toby Emmerich [the Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman], he works out with my manager, and every morning he would say, ‘James Gunn, Superman. James Gunn, Superman.'”
But Gunn, a lover of comics, has a particular fondness for John Ostrander’s run of “The Suicide Squad” comics and felt more passionate about directing a film about that group.
“I really loved [the writer] John Ostrander’s take, which was taking these Z-grade villains and throwing them into black-ops situations where they were totally disposable and they wouldn’t come out alive,” he said.
For one thing, the Joker was never actually member of the Suicide Squad. It really never made sense for him to be in the 2016 film. It was like WB was trying to combine the idea of a Harley and Joker movie with a “Suicide Squad” film.
But more specifically, Gunn told the NYT he never considered bringing back Jared Leto’s Joker because “he wouldn’t be helpful” in the war situation the squad faces.
The new “Squad” includes: Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Peacemaker (John Cena), Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Savant (Michael Rooker), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchoir), Weasel (Sean Gunn), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), and T.D.K. (Nathan Fillion).
“I brought it up kiddingly once and Warners and the producers liked it. There’s not much chance of changing it, but you never know,” Gunn said, according to Cinemablend.
While it may seem a bit confusing, it’s really the best way to describe the group. You could call them “Task Force X,” but that just doesn’t sound as good as “The Suicide Squad.”
While we can’t discuss all the reasons you should go see the film just yet, early reactions to the film, including this writer’s own, are extremely positive.
Here’s what I had to say about the film: “#TheSuicideSquad is probably the wildest, wackiest, bloodiest comic book movie I’ve ever seen. Very clear they let James Gunn run wild and not hold back. Definitely gives Harley one of her best scenes period.”