The comic book movie world got one heck of a shake-up when Marvel announced James Gunn—originally ousted from the studio over old offensive Tweets—would be reinstated as director and writer of Guardians of the Galaxy 3. That’s obviously huge news for Marvel’s post-Avengers: Endgame Phase 4, but it also puts a whole new spotlight on Warner Bros.’ DC Comics Universe. Lest you forget, in the time it took Disney to rehire Gunn, the filmmaker walked over to the DC lot and got himself another quirky super-powered team-up project, The Suicide Squad.
So yes, questions abound, not the least of which is…what the hell exactly is The Suicide Squad?
Producer Peter Safran’s attempt to explain doesn’t exactly help. Initial reports described Gunn’s script as something of a soft reboot, a reimagining of the template set by David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad, with only major players like Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn and Will Smith‘s Deadshot expected to return. (Deadshot is definitely returning, but will now be played by Idris Elba.) Now, according to Safran [via JoBlo], The Suicide Squad is not only not a sequel, but also a “total reboot” of what came before:
How excited should people be for Suicide Squad 2?
“First of all, we don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 ‘cause it’s a total reboot, so it’s The Suicide Squad and I think people should be extremely excited about it. It’s everything you would hope from a James Gunn script and I think that says a lot and that promises a lot and I know that we will deliver a lot.”
I’m curious to see if “total reboot” means the events of Suicide Squad simply never happened in current DCEU continuity, or if Gunn is just moving right the heck on past it without reference. Either way, Collider’s Jeff Sneider got the scoop on the new Suicide Squad line-up the reboot would introduce, including obscure baddies like Ratcatcher and Polka-Dot Man, plus Dave Bautista leaping over from the MCU to play Peacemaker.
It’s not exactly a surprise, though, that Warner Bros. took another path forward following Suicide Squad. Ayers’ film banked $746 million worldwide (and won an Oscar!), but basically became the punch-line of what not to do when telling a superhero story. The thing is a mess, tonally and visually, squandering great performances from Robbie and Smith in favor of a hack-and-slash edit job and soundtrack put together by your least cool uncle.
But since Suicide Squad, WB seems to have course-corrected by focusing on character over world-building. The billion-dollar-earning Aquaman barely mentioned the larger DCEU, and upcoming films like Joker and The Batman are designed to be one-off stories set within a specific time. (Even Birds of Prey, essentially a Suicide Squad spin-off, seems to have done away with the relationship between Harley Quinn and Jared Leto‘s Joker.) It’ll be interesting to see if The Suicide Squad takes a similiar approach; a single mission from the team with no aims toward a sequel.
We’ll find out soon enough. The Suicide Squad heads into production this Fall.