It seems that Will Smith has been done with the DC Comics film franchise entirely, and Deadshot will indeed return for the sequel of Suicide Squad with actor Idris Elba stepping into the role.
The report indicates that the meeting with Will Smith and Idris Elba turned out very well, and talks with the studio began earnestly, making this a very quick development in replacing Deadshot for the upcoming film.
Variety previously reports that Will Smith’s departure comes down to the age-old issue of scheduling conflicts. The actor and Warner Bros. apparently decided to move forward on amicable terms, possibly leaving the door open for a return in the future.
Suicide Squad 2 is said to be a relaunch of the original film and not a full-on reboot.
The Variety report indicates that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is supposed to reprise her role for the new movie, likely picking up the events of Birds of Prey. Other than Harley and Deadshot, the new film is supposed to feature many new characters that take from the rotating cast of coerced supervillains from the pages of DC Comics.
It looks like Warner Bros. is eager to make their casting decisions quickly in hopes of beginning production soon. The studio is reportedly happy with the script as James Gunn has already turned in several drafts.
After the departure of Will Smith revealed last week, a reporter from Variety, Justin Kroll, also indicated that Warner Bros. was deciding whether or not to recast the role of Deadshot or entirely replace him with another character.
“One item I forgot to add to the story, sources say execs are now deciding whether they’ll recast the role or replace Deadshot with a different character from the DC universe to join the team in the sequel,” wrote Kroll.
The decision did not take long, thanks to the meeting between James Gunn and Idris Elba. And now it appears The Suicide Squad is back on track with its core roster in place. However, it remains unseen which other characters will return, such as Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, and what others will join the new crew.
As for James Gunn:
His frequent collaborator Michael Rooker previously spoke out on Gunn’s firing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He explained how Gun had bounced back with this new gig in the DC Comics franchise.
“It is terrible; isn’t it?” Yeah, but oh well, guess what? He is on a gig already. Suicide Squad, that’s right. He is writing it and directing it as well,” Rooker revealed at Walker Stalker Con last year.
At that time, while rumors persisted about James Gunn’s involvement in the potential reboot, DC Comics confirmed the news with an episode of DC Daily.
“It is official that we’ve got a new member of the DC family: acclaimed writer/director James Gunn has been attached to write the Suicide Squad 2,” host Tiffany Smith said. “Gunn’s poised to bring a completely fresh take to the franchise after the first film was written and directed by David Ayer.”
Currently, The Suicide Squad is scheduled to premiere in theaters on August 6, 2021.
James Gunn Reveals Full Cast for The Suicide Squad
Now that the full cast of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad film has been revealed. The list was loaded with star powers, returning stars from the original movie, and introducing a few new cast members for DC films.
According to James Gunn’s tweet, the cast list includes: David Dastmalchian, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn, Taika Waititi, Daniela Melchior, Viola Davis, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Juan Diego Botto, Alice Braga, Peter Capaldi, Idris Elba, Jai Courtney, Mayling NG, Storm Reid, Steve Agee, Julio Ruiz, Joaquin Cosio, Flula Borg, Pete Davidson, Tinashe Kajese, Jennifer Holland, Michael Rooker, and Margot Robbie.
Posting a graphic showing off the 24 names signed up to the forthcoming movie, James Gunn wrote ominously: “Don’t get too attached. #TheSuicideSquad.”
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) September 13, 2019
As we can see, several cast members from Suicide Squad (2016) will reprise their roles, including Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. The rest of the list has not been confirmed which character each star would play. And this time it looks like Will Smith and Jared Leto won’t join The Suicide Squad for their initial roles as the Deadshot and Joker. The previous report said Deadshot would be removed, and Idris Elba would be attached to a new role which has not been unveiled yet. On the bill, we also find former WWE legend John Cena and Thor director Taika Waititi amongst the cast members. In addition to helming the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika Waititi also directed an episode of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, which will premiere with the launch of Disney+ in November.
The tweet also comes with the first look at The Suicide Squad logo. It takes the inspiration from the original comic book logo directly, as it appeared on John Ostrander and Luke McDonnell’s Suicide Squad #1 in 1987.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. and DC Comics are gearing up for production on The Suicide Squad, which will assemble the film cast in Atlanta next week. With the return of James Gunn as writer and director, The Suicide Squad is set to begin production this month and scheduled to shoot in Georgia for three months before heading to Panama for about a month, according to early reports.
If The Suicide Squad follows the trend of recent DC Comics films, it will tell an isolated story without relying on connections to other heroes and villains scattered across the big screen universe.
“I think that’s the goal,” producer Peter Safran said in an interview. “It’s giving heroes their time to shine and not feeling like you have to shoehorn in some universal connection amongst them all. The studio has been incredibly supportive, and DC has been supportive about saying, ‘Take the time that you’ll need to introduce these characters in the right way and tell the stories that audiences want to see with those characters.”
Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn will be at the helm of The Suicide Squad before he heads back to Marvel for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The Suicide Squad is due to hit theaters on August 6, 2021.
“The Suicide Squad” Removes Will Smith’s Deadshot and Moves Idris Elba to New Role
The Suicide Squad won’t be replacing Will Smith’s Deadshot with Idris Elba as previously reported, though Elba will remain a part of the movie cast. The film was initially planning to have Elba take over the role for a new story but now has instead moved him to another character which hasn’t been revealed yet.
“Though it was previously reported that Idris Elba would be replacing Will Smith as Deadshot in the new pic, now sources tell Variety all parties including director James Gunn have decided to move on from the Deadshot character, with Idris Elba playing a new character in The Suicide Squad,” reports Variety. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has not commented on this decision.
The Suicide Squad continues to be quite a mystery on many fronts.
James Gunn is attached to direct the film with certain cast members from the original Suicide Squad set to appear. Viola Davis will be back as Amanda Waller, while Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney will reprise their roles as Rick Flag and Captain Boomerang, respectively.
“It is called The Suicide Squad,’ Shazam! producer Peter Safran told recently. “It is not Suicide Squad 2. It isn’t a sequel. I’ll leave that alone but, yes, it is called The Suicide Squad.”
As for Idris Elba’s shifting in roles, it doesn’t mean that Will Smith will return to the franchise as Deadshot. The character is actually not expected to return in The Suicide Squad, at all.
“Warner Bros. and James Gunn moved instantly to add Idris Elba to the team after the director and actor sat down days after Will Smith’s departure,” notes Variety. “The meeting went so well that Idris Elba agreed on the spot to join the next installment, but even at that time it wasn’t set in stone whether he would be playing Deadshot or a brand-new member of the team.”
According to the same report, Margot Robbie expectedly will reprise her role as Harley Quinn for The Suicide Squad, on the heels of her upcoming Birds of Prey (and the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
At present, The Suicide Squad does not yet have a release date. DC’s Shazam! is now in theaters.
“Guardians of the Galaxy 3:” Disney Reportedly Rehires Director James Gunn
Months and months after firing James Gunn for his decade-old inappropriate tweets, Disney now has reportedly reversed their decision regarding Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. After all, on Friday afternoon, the House of Mouse and Marvel Studios had changed their minds and officially brought James Gunn back to helm Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that the decision was actually made months ago following conversations between Disney and Marvel Studios executives.
According to the latest report, Walt Disney Studios president Alan F. Horn, who also had a hand in James Gunn’s initial firing last summer, met with the filmmaker several times after he was removed from the position. The chairman of Disney was persuaded to change his mind after seeing Gunn’s public apology and his subsequent handling of the situation. Also, this case of Gunn was probably helped by his cast and peers, who were all vocal online and even in interviews defending the director.
At present, James Gunn had already completed his script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that the film would use his script. Meanwhile, other directors were the subject of rumors, suggesting that Marvel was looking to replace James Gunn rather quickly. But that clearly was not the case.
However, the only complicated part of this entire situation is the involvement of James Gunn with Warner Bros. and DC.
After leaving Marvel, the director signed on to write and direct Suicide Squad 2. The film production is set to begin this year, and Marvel has agreed let Gunn complete his work on the DC project before heading back to the Guardians franchise. Recently, the roster and working title of Suicide Squad 2 have been revealed.
As for James Gunn, since his firing, he has kept things quiet on the social network for a time, but that changed after the Disney and Marvel Studios broke out in a collective cry of joy after they reversed the decision. Eventually, the filmmaker was back to Twitter to share a simple message of thanks for everyone who supported him in the recent months.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 15, 2019
So, James Gunn will still helm the Suicide Squad sequel for Warner Bros. and DC before returning to Marvel to begin production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
What do you think of this decision from Disney? Are you excited to see James Gunn back in the director’s chair for Guardians 3? Share with us in the comments!
“The Suicide Squad” Roster and Working Title Revealed
It has been a busy week for James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel. First, the reported team of characters James Gunn had been eyeing surfaced. And now, the working title for Suicide Squad has started making the rounds online.
In a recent report from Production Weekly, the film will be filming under the working title of “El Dorado.” On the other hand, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was filmed under “Bravo 14.”
When it comes to working titles, reports surfaced that James Gunn’s team would feature nearly all-new characters.
According to Collider, which comes from sources close to the production, the current roster will be led by Idris Elba taking over Will Smith as Deadshot and a light appearance from Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. And the new Suicide Squad will consist of Ratcatcher, Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, and Peacemaker.
The report surfaced that Ratcatcher would be a gender-swapped version of the DC Comics characters, replacing Otis Flannegan with a woman in this role. Alongside her ability controlling rats, the character will also have an affinity for poisonous gas.
While all of these characters are all intriguing for the big screen, the most head-turning bit of news comes with the description for Peacemaker. Gunn is apparently keen on getting Dave Bautista for this role after casting him as Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films. After Disney fired James Gunn, Bautista was instantly the biggest advocate for the director. So it is no surprise that the duo is hoping to work together again.
As previously mentioned, James Gunn is teaming up with DC film franchise for The Suicide Squad that will essentially act as a revamp of David Ayer’s film in 2016, rather than a direct sequel. A recent report reveals what looks to be the rest of the roster for James Gunn’s new iteration of the anti-hero team. And it is even weirder than anyone expected.
Keep in mind, this line-up could change by the time The Suicide Squad goes into production later this year. In the meantime, any tweaks or rewrites could significantly alter the roster, and nothing is final at this time.
The Suicide Squad is currently set for release on August 6, 2021.
Other upcoming DC movies include:
- Shazam! on April 5
- Joker on October 4
- Birds of Prey on February 7, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020
- and The Batman on June 25, 2021.
Kevin Feige Addresses James Gunn’s “Suicide Squad 2” Gig and “Guardians Vol. 3” Status
At the moment, superhero films seem to be the most popular genre in filmmaking, with tons of studios attempting to get in on the action with their own shared cinematic universe. Since so many comic book stories are being adapted for the big screen, actors like Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, and Peter Dinklage have had their roles in multiple universes. That trend is about to continue as director James Gunn is set to write Guardians of the Galaxy and possibly direct DC’s Suicide Squad 2.
It sounds like James Gunn’s involvement in Suicide Squad sequel is a game changer. His vision and sense of humor are what made the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise become a fan-favorite of the MCU. The Disney’s firing of James Gunn has still been a hot discussion since it went down in July 2018. And now Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has responded to Gunn’s Suicide Squad gig, saying:
“I went to see Aquaman last night. And I really, really enjoyed it. And you know me, I have always supported [them]. I do not see a rivalry. I see cool films being made. And one thing you know about James Gunn, he makes cool films.”
What a class act. Kevin Feige seemingly doesn’t have any hard feelings for James Gunn over his unceremonious departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Furthermore, he even took this opportunity to stress once again. That there is no rivalry between the MCU and DC Universe so far.
Recently, during a red carpet appearance at the Golden Globes with MTV News, the Marvel Studios president even showed his support for James Gunn and DC.
He believes that there is enough room for everyone at the table. DC or Marvel, it is clear the market for superhero movies is major. And the audience just wants to have their unique theatrical experiences. As such, DC and Marvel are able to help push each other. Both cinematic universes have been taking major risks as of late.
James Gunn’s departure from the MCU remains a hot topic of conversation months later. Especially, the Guardians of the Galaxy is still very much in jeopardy. It seems that producing Vol. 3 without Gunn’s vision is impossible as everything from his music taste to his dancing style was infused into the franchise. Some fans also hoped that Disney would do an about face and invite Gunn back into the fold. Even though, that doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon.
As for the status of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 still on indefinite hold over at Marvel, but Kevin Feige has not stopped working on the project.
“Guardians will happen. When, where, how? For a later time,” he added.
Meanwhile, James Gunn quickly bounced back and found a way to bring his vision to the comic book genre. With the sense of humor and penchant for colorful ensembles, Gun would likely be a perfect choice to write Suicide Squad 2. And he could help the franchise recover from its somewhat sloppy first outing.
On the other side of the aisle, Warner Bros. themselves did confirm James Gunn would involve with the sequel of Suicide Squad.
“It is official that we have got a new member of the DC family. That acclaimed writer/director James Gunn has been attached to write Suicide Squad 2,” host Tiffany Smith said on an episode of DC Daily. “Gunn is poised to bring such a completely fresh take to the franchise after the first [Suicide Squad] movie was written and directed by David Ayer.”
However, DC has a ton of projects coming down the line. So fans need to wait and see what James Gunn will do with the titular group of DC villains. Hopefully, we will know what is happening with the Guardians of the Galaxy as well as the Suicide Squad in the very near future.
In the meantime, DC’s Aquaman is still in theaters now, also earning a ton of money at the box office.
‘Birds of Prey’ Film Confirmed Targeting an R Rating
Back in May, Margot Robbie starring as Harley Quinn revealed that she has a certain vision for her upcoming “girl gang film,” “Birds of Prey,” as an R-rated feature. Now, the director Cathy Yan has confirmed the film will, indeed, be aiming to pitch an R rating.
During a recent appearance at the US-China Entertainment Summit, Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan briefly spoke about her upcoming DC film, not only teasing the theme of all-female empowerment, but also the film’s mature rating. Yan, who is set to be the first female Asian director ever to helm a superhero movie, and the third female filmmaker to join the DC after Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins. Yan won’t begin filming until 2019, however, she’s already well into the pre-production process and has claimed to fans that she has done her homework.
Explaining how she went on to land the gig, Yan said that she spent the time to thoroughly do her research before coming to meet with Warner Bros. regarding the project. “I did my homework,” she said. “Well, I won’t say it’s easy, but it’s relatively painless and straightforward. I immediately love the script, and it feels like something I can really do, and it felt very much like my own voice.”
That script was written by Christina Hodson, who wrote the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee and was also brought on to pen Batgirl for the studio. According to Yan, it was also a highlight in her process of preparing to do the project potentially.
As previously reported by Deadline, Yan confirmed onstage that Birds of Prey would be rated R. Though she couldn’t reveal too much concerning the project, Yan did confirm that the script featured plenty of dark humor, which perhaps explains the reasons for the R-rating.
Of course, Birds of Prey’s R rating should not come entirely as a surprise. After all, Margot Robbie, who will reprise her role as Harley Quinn, confirmed that the film she had pitched to Warner Bros. and DC had always been envisioned an R-rated feature.
“I got the idea of an R-rated girl gang film that includes Harley because I was like, ‘Harley needs friends.’ Robbie said a few months ago. “Harley loves interacting with people, so don’t make her do a standalone film. She’s got to be with people; that should be a girl gang. I didn’t see enough girl gangs on screen, especially in the action space. So that’s always a big part of it.”
However, things could change throughout production. And the film could end up earning a different rating once the MPAA officially has its say. For the time being, Birds of Prey is targeting to be an R-rated female empowerment flick.
Directed by Cathy Yan from a script by Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn teaming up with Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez); together against DC Comics villain Black Mask. The film’s release is scheduled for Feb 7, 2020.