As reviews for the DC Comics/Warner Bros. movie Suicide Squad roll in today things are looking bleak. But we know for a fact Suicide Squad got at least one thing right. Allow Will Smith to explain.
Our own Drew McWeeny seemed to like the film well enough but a scan of many other entertainment sites this morning reveals the overall impression of the film is a lackluster one.
But at the premiere of the film in New York City last night Smith reminded us of something, this movie features a diverse cast, something lacking in a lot of Hollywood productions but also something people are finally starting to wake up about.
“We're just very, very excited. It's really, really rare…you know I've made a lot of movies, and some of them you can't even really count as movies [audience laughs] but this team right here, this group of people, we had a ball making this film. David Ayer said something that was really interesting. He said it's not a movie of good versus evil, it's a movie of bad versus evil and this is one of the baddest casts in the whole damn world right here. And also, you know what I love about working with this group, as you see up on this stage, it's a rainbow. It's all races, creeds, and colors, it's the diversity that this country is supposed to be about, it's the inclusion that this country is supposed to be about.”
Truer words, right?
When the cast was officially announced last year I was happily surprised to see how diverse it was: Smith, Viola Davis, Adam Beach, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Karen Fukuhara, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Scott Eastwood, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Jay Hernandez.
And Smith isn't the only one talking about diversity when it comes to this film. “Having a Latino superhero is long overdue – we've been waiting for it, and David Ayer had the balls to put it out there,” Jay Hernandez (who plays Diablo in the film) told The Hollywood Reporter. “I can't believe I'm the first one. It's pretty ridiculous not to have diversity in a movie like this.”
Yeah, considering it's 2016, it is pretty ridiculous. Director Ayer told USA Today, “It”s less about ticking boxes. It”s important for kids to see people who look like them in movies.”
Putting aside important issues of representation on screen, diversity is just good business. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. “The global nature of the movie business dictates, both from a pragmatic revenue-generating perspective and as a true reflection of diversity, that smart and innovative casting decisions are vital to grab the biggest possible audience.”