King Shark continues to be the aquatic antihero who keeps on giving. Voiced by Sylvester Stallone, the demigod Nanaue proved to be a fan-favorite member of The Suicide Squad even before a single full trailer for the film dropped. With the film’s release in August, King Shark lived up to the hype, proving to have a tender heart, albeit one mostly nourished by eating people. Now a new, bizarre behind-the-scenes photo of the character has surfaced, and we can’t wait to show it to you.
The photo comes from none other than The Suicide Squad writer/director James Gunn. Now, while Sylvester Stallone provided the voice of King Shark, it was Steve Agee who did the body work for the CGI creature, as well as playing one of Amanda Waller’s (Viola Davis) employees, John Economos. So it’s Agee in the photo, not Stallone, in the bulky King Shark body suit with a towel on his head. You can see the fun, weird photo below.
Gunn’s followers quickly threw likes to the post as well adding their own fun commentary. While Sylvester Stallone doesn’t seem to be found in the crowd of responders, Steve Agee stopped by to put in his own two cents. In particular, the actor responds to an impromptu call for a version of the movie that doesn’t include any CGI.
Sylvester Stallone’s King Shark is something of an outlier in The Suicide Squad. While James Gunn took a lot of inspiration from the John Ostrander written Suicide Squad comics of the late ’80s, even stylizing the movie logo to reflect those earlier comics. Meanwhile, King Shark — like Harley Quinn — doesn’t become a member of Task Force X until the 2011 relaunch of the comic. In fact, as far as the Task Force X members who survive the first 10 or 15 minutes of the film are concerned, conceptually speaking, King Shark is the runt of the litter. He doesn’t show up in the comics until 1994’s Superboy #0. Of course, Ratcatcher II was created specifically for the film, but she’s essentially just an extension of the original Ratcatcher, who first shows up in 1988’s Detective Comics #585.
Ironically, in spite of the relatively extreme violence and gore of The Suicide Squad — including watching King Shark eat people and, at one point, rip a Corto Maltese soldier in half — Sylvester Stallone’s King Shark is something of a teddy bear compared to most versions. The King Shark of the 2011 Suicide Squad comic is just as monosyllabic as the movie version, though he’s much more consciously sadistic. Likewise, the animated version in 2014’s Batman: Assault on Arkham doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of tears of sadness when his head explodes. The one in the HBO Max’s Harley Quinn series (voiced by Ron Funches) is arguably even funnier than Stallone’s version, though much more intelligent. In fact, in the beginning of Harley Quinn, Funches’ King Shark works as tech support.
While it’s a good bet we’ll eventually see another Suicide Squad from James Gunn, it’s too soon to know when that will be, or if Sylvester Stallone will return to voice King Shark. In the meantime, you can see Steve Agee at least return to the same narrative in the upcoming HBO Max series Peacemaker. Agee will reprise the role on John Economos in John Cena’s solo series.