James Gunn’s Secrecy-Guarding Methods On ‘The Suicide Squad’ Went To Morbid (But Highly Effective) Lengths

RIP, Slipknot. That’s one of the first things that comes to mind (in addition to Jared Leto’s bad Joker still haunting my noggin) when I think about 2016’s Suicide Squad. David Ayer chose not to give Slipknot even a sliver of a backstory, which made the supervillain’s death feel almost comical (and confusingly pathetic), and it set the tone for one bizarre movie where the actual “bad guys” were blob people. One can expect James Gunn’s relaunch, The Suicide Squad, to feel entirely different since Gunn’s adept at crafting layered characters, even if they might not seem that way at first while dropping banal jokes. Still, one can expect multiple deaths among this film’s ranks.

Gunn previously suggested that numerous deaths were on the table while revealing that “[n]o character was protected by DC” and “they gave me carte blanche to do what I wanted.” Now, the Guardians of the Galaxy director has elaborated upon how, yes, multiple deaths do go down among his Dirty Dozen-esque cast of characters. That also ties into his methods for keeping everything as secret as possible. Gunn tweeted that those characters who died “only got the script up until the point their character dies.”

I mean, why not? This sounds practical enough and one might as well shut down as many avenues as possible to avoid leaks, whether intentional or because someone happened to leave a script in the wrong place. Also, Gunn revealed that not even the film’s crew was aware that Elba was playing Bloodsport throughout most of the filming.

“[W]e called him Vigilante in the script & on his chair back,” Gunn tweeted. “We kept it so secret that, we were a week away from finishing shooting & the production designer, Beth Mickle, said, ‘wait, he’s not Vigilante?'”

That information comes with another twist: “And to make it weirder, DC’s character Vigilante is one of the leads of my #Peacemaker show.”

Yep, Freddie Stroma will portray Vigilante in Peacemaker, which is expected to arrive on HBO Max in early 2022. Before that happens, The Suicide Squad will arrive in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6.