The Suicide Squad (film)

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The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad teaser poster.jpeg
Teaser poster
Directed byJames Gunn
Produced by
Written byJames Gunn
Based onSuicide Squad
by John Ostrander
Starring
Music byJohn Murphy
CinematographyHenry Braham
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 6, 2021 (2021-08-06) (United States)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Suicide Squad is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team the Suicide Squad. Produced by DC Films, Atlas Entertainment, and The Safran Company, and set for distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to be a soft reboot and standalone sequel to Suicide Squad (2016), and the tenth film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film, written and directed by James Gunn, stars an ensemble cast led by Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Peter Capaldi, Sylvester Stallone, and Viola Davis.

A sequel to Suicide Squad was announced in March 2016 before that film's release, with David Ayer returning as director before dropping out in December 2016 for a Gotham City Sirens film. After considering several directors, Warner Bros. hired Gavin O'Connor in September 2017, but he left a year later over creative differences, and by October 2018, Gunn was hired to write the film after he had been temporarily dismissed by The Walt Disney Company from directing the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and he signed to direct in January 2019. Gunn looked to the 1980s Suicide Squad comics for inspiration to focus on new characters rather than continue the prior film's narrative. Filming began in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2019, and concluded in Panama in February 2020.

The Suicide Squad is scheduled to be released in the United States on August 6, 2021. A spin-off television series centered on Peacemaker (Cena) is in development for HBO Max.

Cast[edit]

Additionally, modern Suicide Squad creator John Ostrander plays Dr. Fitzgibbon.[21]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

James Gunn, writer and director of The Suicide Squad

Ahead of the release of Suicide Squad (2016), Warner Bros. Pictures announced in March 2016 that a sequel was in development. David Ayer and Will Smith were attached to reprise their respective roles as director and Deadshot, and filming was on track to begin in 2017 after the pair completed work on Bright (2017).[22][23] The following month, Ayer expressed his interest in making the sequel R-rated,[24] but by December had exited in favor of directing a Gotham City Sirens film.[25] Warner Bros. entered negotiations with Mel Gibson to direct shortly afterwards,[26] but he passed after production delays.[27] Daniel Espinosa, Jonathan Levine, and Ruben Fleischer were also under consideration.[26][28] In March 2017, The Legend of Tarzan (2016) writer Adam Cozad was hired to write the screenplay. The Suicide Squad sequel was said to be a priority for Warner Bros., with a focus on coming up with a story.[29]

Warner Bros.' top choice to direct was Jaume Collet-Serra, but he passed in favor of Disney's Jungle Cruise (2021) because he did not like the idea of continuing a story another director started.[30][31] David S. Goyer was also considered to direct the film.[32] In July, Zak Penn pitched a new story treatment and began a new draft as a favor for the studio.[27][33] At San Diego Comic-Con that month, the film was officially titled Suicide Squad 2.[34] By August, Jared Leto was set to reprise his role as the Joker from the first film,[35] and Variety reported production would not begin until late 2018 because of Smith's production schedule on the 2019 films Aladdin and Gemini Man.[36] In September, Gavin O'Connor was hired to direct and co-write the film with Warrior (2011) screenwriter Anthony Tambakis.[37][38] Michael De Luca joined the project as producer alongside Charles Roven.[39] O'Connor brought in David Bar Katz and Todd Stashwick to co-write the screenplay in June 2018,[40] which was finished in September.[41] According to Variety's Justin Kroll, O'Connor's script was too similar to the one for Birds of Prey (2020), which Warner Bros. gave a green-light to first. Frustrated, O'Connor withdrew from the project in favor of The Way Back (2020).[42]

Months earlier, in July 2018, The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios dismissed James Gunn from directing the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 after old controversial tweets surrounding topics such as rape and pedophilia began circulating.[43] As a result, Warner Bros. immediately became interested in recruiting him to direct a DC Extended Universe (DCEU) film,[44][45] and offered him a number of properties, including Superman.[46] Gunn chose the Suicide Squad sequel, and by the time he completed his exit settlement with Disney and Marvel in October, Warner Bros. hired him to write the screenplay and potentially direct.[47][48] Gunn discussed his commitments to The Suicide Squad with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who encouraged him to "make a great movie".[49] Ayer supported the decision, saying that Gunn's hiring was a "brave and smart move" by Warner Bros. and called him "the right man for the job",[50] while fellow Guardians of the Galaxy alumnus Dave Bautista expressed interest in appearing in the film.[42] The day after Gunn signed on, Disney decided to reinstate him as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.[49]

Writing[edit]

The initial script from O'Connor, Katz, and Stashwick featured the Suicide Squad attempting to track down a weapon of mass destruction in the ancient Egyptian supervillain Black Adam, who would have served as the film's antagonist.[51][41][52] The character was removed from the script during development.[52]

When James Gunn took over writing and directing duties, he decided to develop a new take on the property and was inspired by the 1980s Suicide Squad comics by John Ostrander and Kim Yale, rather than the New 52 Suicide Squad comics that Ayer had used for the 2016 film, which this was not intended to be a direct sequel to.[12][53] Gunn also drew inspiration from the war films The Dirty Dozen (1967) and City of God (2002).[54] Gunn chose to focus more on characters that were not introduced in Suicide Squad, such as a female Ratcatcher, Polka-Dot Man, King Shark, and Peacemaker,[12][55] and also considered using the characters Sportsmaster, Kite Man, and Section 8 member Dogwelder on the titular team before deciding not to.[56][57][58] Likewise, Gunn chose not to have Leto's Joker return for the film's team, citing the character was not included in the Suicide Squad comics and how he felt Amanda Waller would not have a use for him.[59] The Suicide Squad has been described by producer Peter Safran as "a total reboot" with "everything you would hope from a James Gunn script",[45] a comedy film by Rick Flag actor Joel Kinnaman,[60] and like a 1970s war film during the virtual DC FanDome event.[61]

Pre-production[edit]

By January 2019, Gunn had signed on to direct and the film was retitled The Suicide Squad, with production set to start that September for a scheduled August 6, 2021 release date.[62][63] Charles Roven and Peter Safran were also attached to produce.[64] The next month, Smith was no longer set to reprise his role as Deadshot from the first film due to scheduling conflicts,[65] and Gunn met with Idris Elba in March to discuss replacing him. Negotiations went smoothly with Warner Bros., and Elba, who was the only choice of Gunn and the studio for the role, signed on shortly after.[66] Gunn was publicly revealed to have been reinstated for Vol. 3 later that month,[67] while Jai Courtney was set to return as Captain Boomerang.[11] By that April, Gunn and Warner Bros. had decided for Elba to play a different character in Bloodsport, which would enable Smith to return in a future film.[1][5] when Margot Robbie and Viola Davis were also set to return as Harley Quinn and Amanda Waller, respectively.[1][10] Production on The Suicide Squad was set to set to begin after Robbie finished her work on Birds of Prey,[68] with Gunn beginning work on Vol. 3 after completing The Suicide Squad and its spin-off television series Peacemaker.[67][69]

Gunn was said to be considering casting Bautista as Peacemaker,[55] though this could not happen due to scheduling conflicts.[70] Later in April, David Dastmalchian and Daniela Melchior were respectively cast as Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher,[12][71] and John Cena entered talks for an unspecified role.[72] In July, Henry Braham joined as cinematographer,[73] while Storm Reid joined the cast and the involvement of Cena and Kinnaman as Rick Flag were confirmed.[7][8] In August, Flula Borg and Nathan Fillion were cast in an undisclosed roles,[19][74] and Steve Agee was hired to voice King Shark,[16] with Taika Waititi entering negotiations to join in an unspecified role.[75] In September, Peter Capaldi joined the cast, and Pete Davidson entered negotiations for a cameo.[76] The remainder of the cast was confirmed later in the month,[13] while Leto was no longer set to appear as Gunn felt the character wasn't necessary for the team.[77][59] Fred Raskin also joined as the editor at this time.[78]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on September 20, 2019, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.[76][79] Filming in Atlanta was expected to last three months before transitioning to Panama for a month.[80] Feige and Louis D'Esposito, the presidents of Marvel Studios, visited the set during filming after previously working with Gunn on the Guardians of the Galaxy films.[81] Filming wrapped on February 28, 2020.[82]

Post-production[edit]

James Gunn's two-time editing collaborator Fred Raskin served as the co-editor for The Suicide Squad, after previously working on the Guardians of the Galaxy films, alongside Christian Wagner. Kelvin McIlwain (Aquaman and Shazam!) was the overall visual effects supervisor for the film. Framestore, Weta Digital, Trixter, Scanline VFX, and Cantina Creative provided visual effects.[83] Gunn was editing the film at his home by April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had not affected post-production and the release schedule at that time.[84]

Music[edit]

John Murphy will compose the soundtrack for The Suicide Squad, marking Gunn's first film without a score composed by Tyler Bates.[85]

Release[edit]

The Suicide Squad is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on August 6, 2021.[64]

Marketing[edit]

A behind-the-scenes featurette was released on August 22, during DC FanDome.[61]

Spin-off series[edit]

While working on completing The Suicide Squad during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gunn began writing a spin-off television series centered on Peacemaker.[86] The series was announced in September 2020 for HBO Max, with Gunn having written its eight episodes and will direct several of them, and serves as an executive producer alongside Safran.[87][69] The series will star Cena, Agee, and Holland, who reprise their respective roles as Peacemaker, Economos, and Harcourt from the film,[69][18][20] alongside Danielle Brooks as Leota Adebayo,[88] Robert Patrick as Auggie Smith, and Chris Conrad as Adrian Chase / The Vigilante.[20] Filming is expected to occur in Vancouver, Canada from January to June 2021.[89]

References[edit]

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