Last year James Gunn took over the reins of the Suicide Squad sequel from previous auteur David Ayer, and he’s clearly going to make it his own. Case in point: Deadline is reporting that he’s just hired one of his regulars, Nathan Fillion, to play a key though as-yet-unrevealed role in his forthcoming DC romp.
Fillion may be best known for being someone else’s regular, namely Joss Whedon; among other things, the actor played the dashing and resilient captain on the space oater Firefly, and in its movie spin-off Serenity. But Fillion’s also a favorite of Gunn’s, who has cast him as the lead in his 2006 horror film Slither, as well as in a key role in 2010’s darkly comic superhero deconstruction Super and a voice in the first Guardians.
When Fillion starts on the sequel, which will semi-confusingly be titled The Suicide Squad, he’ll be joining returning stars like Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnnaman, and Viola Davis. (Among those not due back are Will Smith and Jared Leto.)
Gunn, famously, took the Suicide Squad gig while temporarily booted off of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, after conservative pundits dug up some offensive jokes he made on Twitter long before Marvel hired him. Disney wound up reneging on their firing, even though that meant delaying Vol. 3 until he’s done with The Suicide Squad.
Meanwhile, the first Suicide Squad, while a hit, was a mess to make, requiring extensive re-shoots, partly intended to tone down what was originally a pretty grungy, whiskey-soaked affair. Gunn’s take on the comic book product that turns comic book villains into super-anti-heroes will presumably be goofier, less brooding, and more like the misadventures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, et al.