Back in October, former Marvel Studios director James Gunn was hired to pen a script for a Suicide Squad followup after being fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 over his resurfaced controversial tweets. This move from Marvel Studios rivals DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures arrived as a surprise, although perhaps not completely, given that there was nearly as much backlash against Disney and Marvel Studios over the firing as there initially was against Gunn.
At the time of the script news, there was speculation that Gunn might also be hired to helm this installment, although it was understood that this probably wouldn’t be a direct sequel. Indeed, Hollywood Reporter now reveals that this film is being characterized as a “relaunch” with a substantially new assortment of characters, and James Gunn is in negotiations to direct. To quote Heath Ledger’s Joker, “And…here…we…go…” with more details:
The pic has the title of The Suicide Squad and is not being labeled a direct sequel but as a relaunch. The 2016 original movie featured the characters Deadshot, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc, who are forced into the service of the government in exchange for lighter prison sentences.
Sources say that Gunn’s focus is to take the franchise in a new direction with a mostly all-new cast of characters and actors. Sources also say that the project is also very much rooted in Gunn’s vibe, as seen in the Guardians movies.
The Suicide Squad is an odd choice of wording, for sure, especially since it evokes the mood of being interpreted as The (Real) Suicide Squad. So, that is puzzling, especially since Suicide Squad director David Ayer formally gave his blessing to the news of Gunn writing the script. The film also (via Comic Book) has an official release date — well over a year after the Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) flies into theaters on February 7, 2020 — but will Harley be included in the relaunch? It seems like any followup would shoot its own foot off by not including her, given her popularity, although I suspect that folks would be fine if Jared Leto’s Joker was not involved. Oh, and Zack Snyder’s producing this thing, so take that as you will.
The Suicide Squad will arrive in theaters on August 6, 2021.