James Gunn Makes His Way To The DC Universe With New Suicide Squad Feature
by Erik Amaya
The James Gunn story continues as the deposed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director walks over to the crosstown rival.
Deadline reports the filmmaker is in talks to write a new Suicide Squad film with the possibility that he will direct. The project will not the be long-in-the-planning sequel, however. That project, to be directed by Gavin O’Connor, has seemingly been abandoned in favor of Gunn’s new concept. O’Connor will instead direct former(?) Batman Ben Affleck in Torrance.
But Gunn’s new DC digs continues a journey began in the summer when he was skewered by extreme right-wing websites for comments he posted to Twitter as much as ten years ago. As part of his edgelord past, Gunn made light of pedophilia and rape as an attempt to shock people and point out certain hypocrisies. But when the comments resurfaced, sites used them in bad faith to make it seem as though he endorsed both horrific acts. As Gunn has alluded to being a victim himself over the years, it was doubly unfortunately that his juvenile humor led to his dismissal from the third Guardians feature when Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn terminated his contract on July 20th. Word soon spread that Warner Bros, playing the part of Marvel’s traditional crosstown rival DC, looked to scope him up for their superhero universe once his exit from Marvel Studios and Disney was finalized.
The choice of Suicide Squad as Gunn’s new project is intriguing. Directed by David Ayer, the first film underwent extensive reshoots after the surprise success of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. A trailer for the Suicide Squad inspired by Guardians’ aesthetic and marketing campaign generated a lot of buzz, but forced Ayer and the studio to reshape the film to more closely align with that trailer. The end result lacks a certain cohesion and further cemented the feeling Warner Bros. was chasing Marvel Studios in the way DC Comics often chased Marvel in the decades of their publishing rivalry.
Or, at least, the rivalry assumed by die-hard fans of one company or the other.
For a time, it seems Suicide Squad 2 was headed for production, but it fell off the schedule in favor of Birds of Prey; a film featuring Suicide Squad‘s Margot Robbie back in the Harley Quinn role. According to recent reports, Gunn’s film will not follow-up on any of the storylines set up in the first film and will presumably feature a new Task Force X as they get press-ganged into a mission. Which will no doubt thrill those who found the first film lacking. Perhaps it will be more Secret Six than Suicide Squad.
The film is not yet scheduled for release.