“What is going on with Warner Bros.’ DC films?” is a question I ask myself a lot lately, especially in the aftermath of Wonder Woman absolutely destroying it at the box office and effectively blowing up Warner Bros’. entire plan for serious, gritty take on the superhero genre. Where Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad opted to roll around in nihilism, Wonder Woman leaned into the idea that superheroes should stand for hope, mercy, justice, and love. Shockingly, audiences related to the latter more than the former for reasons that someone will surely write their thesis about. My personal theory is that maybe at this point in our history, moviegoers are just worn out on cynicism, especially from our childhood heroes.
But you can’t stop the franchise wheels turning once you start them up. The best you can do is change course, which seems to be the plan. Wonder Woman dominated the Warner Bros. Justice League footage at San Diego Comic-Con, with other emphasis being on Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and The Flash (Ezra Miller), the only two members of the league who seem to a) be having a good time and b) are allowed to poke fun at the tropes of the superhero genre. Cyborg (Ray Fisher) is a bit of a wild card as the extensive amount of CGI necessary to make the character work has kept his appearance to a minimum thus far while post-production finishes up. Join all that to Gal Gadot’s Diana anchoring the franchise, and at least in the promotional materials sourpusses Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) are being pushed to the sidelines.
Nothing, however, compares to the already troubled production of Suicide Squad 2, which isn’t even in production yet. Back in March of last year it looked like David Ayer would return to helm the sequel. By December, Ayer had left the project to take on Suicide Squad spin-off Gotham City Sirens. Since then, no director has been attached to Suicide Squad 2. But that didn’t stop Deadline from announcing today that director Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows) has left the project to work with Dwayne Johnson and Disney on the upcoming live-action film Jungle Cruise based on the theme park ride.
Uproxx reached out to representatives for Collet-Serra about the move and they confirmed, “[Jaume] was never on Suicide Squad 2. Only in talks on it.” So the real news here isn’t that Warner Bros. lost their Suicide Squad 2 director to a rival studio, but that the high-profile project has been without a director for almost eight months. While that’s good news for the screenwriter (the first film’s script was finished in only had six weeks due to production constraints), Warner Bros. is still touting Suicide Squad 2 as one of its upcoming tentpoles. The title card got a huge cheer from the Hall H crowd at Comic-Con. Without Suicide Squad 2, the DC film docket is looking a little thin. Justice League arrives in November, and Aquaman is currently in production. After that? Nothing. The Flash still has no director and now neither does Suicide Squad 2.