The Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters later this week internationally and in the United States not far after that. It’s a much-needed reboot from the original movie, looking every bit of a high-octane, R-rated slugfest that mixes in dark humor whenever possible. And according to director James Gunn, is set to kill off a not-insignificant part of the cast. According to Collider, the director was given a green light to off anyone he wanted from the cast, and he more than obliged. It is now unclear who will be left from the group when the dust settles.
James Gunn talked in a featurette about the movie, discussing the liberties Warner Bros. and the DC Extended Universe provided him with making the movie, saying he need not worry about the futures of any particular characters if he didn’t feel like it fit into the narrative. Whether they were speaking tongue-in-cheek about the prospect of losing a whole batch of characters is now neither here nor there, because James Gunn was straightforward about what he did in this next movie. And it is looking grim for a number of the Squad. Here are snippets of what he had to say on the topic:
Too many superhero movies don’t have any stakes. Amanda Waller is willing to sacrifice all of these lives for the betterment of all mankind. They did say, kill whoever you want. I’m definitely having fun with who’s going to live and who’s going to die. A lot of people think I’m going to kill Harley (Quinn). Who knows? I think people are going to be surprised by how many don’t make it to the end. I just couldn’t help myself.
That James Gunn says this all rather gleefully is just another reinforcement that he’s not pulling any punches here. It really looks like he went all out without a care in the movie world for who made it through the end of the flick. Considering the idea of living and dying is haphazardly appreciated even in the title of the film, Gunn is correct in raising the stakes around who actually makes it all the way through. Recognizing that the doomed group is only interesting up to the point that they all don’t make it is a correct assessment.
Though James Gunn mentions her by name, I think it is still rather unlikely that we see Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn killed off in this movie. While not formal news, the actress has recently said that she was looking to take a break from playing the character, calling it an exhausting role. That doesn’t sound like someone who just had their character meet an end in an upcoming film. Additionally, we know that DC has plans to make John Cenas Peacemaker into a series. That is going to give backstory around the character but also feels like not someone they’d want to really off. But everyone else? I suspect that is fair game.
James Gunn is rebooting The Suicide Squad from the 2016 David Ayer version that fell flat with critics and fans alike. It was overly serious in all the wrong places, using a convoluted story that threaded too many arcs together while not handling any of them all that well. It makes sense that DC wanted to reset the timeline here, bringing back some of the main players but moving on from the darker tone. When James Gunn had an opening in his schedule thanks to a brief respite (he was fired) from Guardians of the Galaxy, they scooped him up.
And James Gunn got an entire band together here for the reboot. In addition to Robbie and Cena plus Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, he is bringing on a number of new faces as well. Some of whom might not have long to live. There is Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Sylvester Stallone voicing King Shark, plus others like David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Michael Rooker as Savant, and Nathan Fillon as TDK among many others. The point being, there are lots and lots of folks who could meet their end here.