A major dick-swinging power move from Warner Bros. came to light today when it was revealed that former Guardians of the Galaxy mastermind James Gunn is in talks to write and possibly direct Suicide Squad 2. It’s huge news considering how Gunn was controversially ousted from Disney over old Tweets and the fact that the first Suicide Squad wanted so badly to be DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy it dug some early 2000’s Eminem out of storage. (Not entirely director David Ayer‘s fault, considering WB effectively turned the project over to a marketing company.) But lost among the hullabaloo is the fact that The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor—who signed on to write and direct last year, with David Bar Katz and Todd Stashwick later coming on to help with the script—is no longer in the picture.
According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, the reasoning for O’Connor’s departure is sloppier than you could imagine. Apparently, the filmmaker’s draft for Suicide Squad 2 was far too close to the upcoming spin-off Birds of Prey, which the studio was far more keen to get into production.
On the Gavin O’Connor front in relation to SS2, hearing the story he had for the sequel ended up almost being identical to the BIRDS OF PREY story and when that film was given the go ahead to go before SQUAD 2, O’Connor grew frustrated and fell off project to do HAS BEEN instead
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) October 9, 2018
Sports drama The Has-Been will re-team O’Connor with his Accountant star Ben Affleck for a story about “a former basketball all-star, who has lost his wife and family foundation in a struggle with addiction.”
On the Suicide Squad 2 front, nothing is set in stone but io9 reports that Gunn’s vision would be an entirely new take on the franchise, possibly to the point of a full-on reboot. This is a bit of a wrinkly casting situation since Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is definitely returning for Birds of Prey and there’s still a Joker movie in development for Jared Leto. Not to be confused with Joaquin Phoenix‘s Joker movie. Everything is fine in the DCEU!
(Shazam! looks great, though.)