With Shazam! circling theaters for an April 4 landing, producer Peter Safran’s out there dropping tidbits on several comic-book movie projects. Inevitably, some of this information concerns James Gunn, who was reinstated by Disney last week as Guardians 3 director and who’s helming what was previously described as a Suicide Squad “relaunch” that’s (shadily?) titled as The Suicide Squad. Gunn penned the script for a substantially new set of characters in the newest installment of supervillain-group shenanigans. We’ve already heard that there will be a huge focus on the recast Deadshot role, but Safran filled in JoBlo on why Gunn’s followup isn’t a traditional sequel. In doing so, Safran sidesteps the “relaunch” descriptor and goes even further:
“First of all, we don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 ’cause it’s a total reboot, so it’s The Suicide Squad and I think people should be extremely excited about it. It’s everything you would hope from a James Gunn script and I think that says a lot and that promises a lot and I know that we will deliver a lot.”
The “reboot” insistence surely has plenty to do with the critical panning of the ensemble film that ignored character development and made blob people the bad guys. Yes, it was a righteous mess, and Jared Leto’s Joker was disastrous. The movie still ended up grossing $325 million in the U.S. and $746 million worldwide. Plenty of that probably had to do with Margot Robbie’s hotpants, but there’s still a safe space on Reddit where people gather to whisper about the guilty pleasure status of the movie. Regardless, it seems that Gunn wishes to retool this franchise into a respectable entity, and if anyone can make that tonal shift, it’s him. Also, the whole foot-stomping thing about The Suicide Squad being the movie that Suicide Squad was supposed to be is arguably petty, and comic book panties are in a twist, but it’s so entertaining.
As for Gunn’s reclaimed gig as the Guardians 3 director, Safron describes the situation as being “handled incredibly elegantly,” and he clarifies that The Suicide Squad will remain the production priority. In other words, that movie will keep its August 6, 2021 release date, and Guardians 3 will obviously not come out in 2020 as previously planned but … maybe 2022? People who love to hate Star-Lord probably won’t see the focus on him any sooner.