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Everything We Know About James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021) - Shaken, Not Stirred

Everything We Know About James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021)

2016’s Suicide Squad was panned by critics and received mixed reactions from fans for obvious reasons, as it was a mess and one of the worst movies in the DCEU. But Suicide Squad was a huge box office success earning $746,846,894 worldwide so work on a new movie began shortly. The new sequel or soft reboot to the film, called The Suicide Squad, is the eleventh film in the DC Extended Universe and it will be released on August 6, 2021, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Plans for this sequel began even before the release of Suicide Squad in 2016 and its production was confirmed in March of the same year. While fans are bursting with excitement, various information has been confirmed, including many returning cast members and a rough idea of the plot. The fans are still anxiously waiting for the film and rumors are spreading like wildfire, so here is everything that we know about James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad so far.

A Little Backstory

To jog up the memory before getting started, here is a summary of what the Suicide Squad is and what happened in the first film. The Suicide Squad, also known as Task Force X, is a team of notorious anti-heroes used by the government to combat villains with whom they do not want to get directly involved with. Led by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), a secret government agency recruits these imprisoned supervillains, including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Boomerang, Diablo, and Killer Croc, to execute dangerous missions in exchange for reduced sentences. A nanite bomb is implanted in the neck of each team member, designed to be detonated should the member rebel or try to escape. In the 2016 film, the villain was the Enchantress (played by Cara Delavigne), an ancient goddess who supposedly joined forces with the Joker (played by Jared Leto).


The Suicide Squad Story: What Is It About And Where Is It Set?

The plot of The Suicide Squad is still unknown. As part of the preparation, director James Gunn read every single comic book featuring the Suicide Squad and most comics with Harley Quinn. Gunn said that he really likes John Ostrander’s work and that he thinks of his new film as a sequel to John Ostrander’s original run of the Suicide Squad comics. For you who are not familiar, John Ostrander is an American writer of comic books and author of Suicide Squad. We can only assume that Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) will recruit a team of anti-heroes and dispatch them on some suicide mission.

The same goes for the locations – it’s unknown if the film, or part of it, will be set again in Midway City, which represents Chicago in the DC universe. But in the behind-the-scenes footage, we can see a couple of action scenes taking place on a tropical beach, so we can assume that some of the rumors are true and that the film will be set in South or Central America.


Is The Suicide Squad A Sequel Or Reboot Of 2016’s Suicide Squad?

Although it is officially being called a sequel to the first movie, director James Gunn described the film as neither a direct sequel nor a reboot of the first film, but that “it is what it is”. Even producer Peter Safran (Aquaman, Shazam!, The Conjuring) said that they don’t call it Suicide Squad 2. So it is more like a soft reboot.


The Suicide Squad Release Date

The Suicide Squad is scheduled to be released in the United States on August 6, 2021. In April 2020, Gunn announced that he was editing the film at his home and that the release date would not be affected by the ongoing pandemic.


James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy): The New Director

In 2018, James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, Slither) was fired from The Walt Disney Company from directing Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy franchise after old controversial tweets surrounding topics such as rape and pedophilia began circulating. His firing resulted in backlash from the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy and they took to social media to start campaigns to get him rehired. Availing the perfect opportunity, Warner Bros. Pictures hired him for writing and directing The Suicide Squad, which was left without a director after the previous director David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury, Bright, Harsh Times) left the project.

Gunn was later re-hired by Disney to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and they agreed to let him complete The Suicide Squad before starting the pre-production for their film. Hiring James Gunn was probably the best choice because no one could have done what he has chosen to execute. Gunn majorly used practical VFX in this film. He found it a relief after working on the CGI-heavy Guardians of the Galaxy films. He read each and every Suicide Squad comic book and chose to make huge changes to the cast and characters instead of sticking to the previous movie’s outlook. Although it is officially being called a sequel to the first movie, James Gunn described the film as neither a direct sequel nor a reboot of the first film, but that “it is what it is”.

James Gunn praised John Ostrander’s work and said he likes to think of his new film as a sequel to John Ostrander’s original run of the Suicide Squad comics. Gunn described this movie as “the biggest movie he has ever made” and also “by far the most fun I’ve ever had making a movie”. Considering that these words are coming from the director of Guardians of the Galaxy, which is one of the most fun and action-packed movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we can only imagine what The Suicide Squad holds.


The Cast And The Characters Of The Suicide Squad

The movie employs an ensemble cast with many returning cast members including Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and Viola Davis. Many new faces are also expected to show up with characters that are still a secret. James Gunn has revealed the main cast members and their characters while attending a virtual DC FanDome event via a Zoom meeting. He even added major cast members in the event and interviewed them about the film. After that he released an exclusive sneak peek of the movie which included some behind-the-scenes cuts.

Even though the entire cast has been announced officially through James Gunn himself, he has asked the viewers not to get too attached to any of them. Although it is a fair statement to make, fans believe this was a spoiler that some of the Suicide Squad members might not make it till the end of the movie.

Here is the full roster on who is confirmed to show up in the new movie.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie (Birds Of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, I, Tonya) will reprise the role of Harley Quinn she played in 2016’s Suicide Squad and Birds Of Prey. Robbie said she would play Harley Quinn for as long as possible, as she loved playing her in the DC Extended Universe. We last saw her in Birds of Prey where she was riding off with Cassandra Cain after moving on from the Joker. However, Gunn has given her character a brand new look based on a mixture of video games, comics and animated origins.

Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang

Jai Courtney (Terminator Genisys, A Good Day to Die Hard, Jack Reacher) is one of the few returning cast members from 2016’s Suicide Squad. Named George “Digger Harkness, Captain Boomerang is an Australian thief. As his name suggests, he specializes in weaponized boomerangs.

Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg

One more returning cast member from 2016’s Suicide Squad is Joel Kinnaman (Altered Carbon, Robocop) in the role of Rick Flaggleader of the Suicide Squad.

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller

Viola Davis will reprise her role as Amanda Waller from 2016’s Suicide Squad, the government official who is responsible for pulling the strings of The Suicide Squad.

Idris Elba as Bloodsport

Idris Elba (Luther, Avengers, Thor, Pacific Rim, RocknRolla, The Office, Hobbs & Shaw) was originally cast to replace Will Smith as Deadshot but it was eventually decided that he will play a new character to allow Will Smith to return in future films. Bloodsport was convicted for trying to kill Superman with kryptonite bullets.

John Cena as Peacemaker

One of the new characters is Peacemaker played by John Cena (Fighting with My Family, Bumblebee, Blockers). Cena described him as a “douchey Captain America” so he is a peacemaker, except he is not against killing people.

Nathan Fillion as T.D.K. (a.k.a. The Detachable Kid)

Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Serenity) will be playing a new character called T.D.K. (a.k.a. The Detachable Kid). This is Nathan’s first live-action DC movie. Not much is known about this character as it seems it is Gunn’s creation.

Pete Davidson as Blackguard

Actor Pete Davidson, who had to miss the season 45 premiere of Saturday Night Live to do the movie, will be playing Blackguard, a supervillain in the DC Comics universe and an enemy of Booster Gold. His powers include enhanced strength and ergokinesis and is skilled with mace and gadgets.

Michael Rooker as Savant

Savant, played by Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Jumper, The 6th Day), is a new member of The Suicide Squad and is a professional computer hacker. Rooker already collaborated with director James Gunn on Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, and Slither.

Sean Gunn as Weasel

Not much is known about Weasel except that he’s skilled in hand-to-hand combat. He will be played by Sean Gunn, director James Gunn’s brother. They previously worked together on Guardian of the Galaxy franchise.

Peter Capaldi as The Thinker

The Thinker is one of the new characters. He wears a thinking cap that allows him to act as a living AI.

David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man

He is an underrated character who has a costume covered with polka dots, which he can use as weapons. He was originally published as a minor villain of Batman.

Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2

She is a gender-swapped version of the Ratcatcher appearing in the comics. Isabela Merced was considered for the role of Ratcatcher before her.

Flula Borg as Javelin

A German athlete-turned-supervillain who wields javelins as weapons.

Mayling Ng as Mongal

All that we know about her yet is that she possesses superhuman strength and stamina.

Alice Braga as Sol Soria

A South American revolutionary and an ally of the new Suicide Squad.

Storm Reid as Tyla

All that we know about her yet is that she is Bloodsport’s daughter. She will be played by Storm Reid (The Invisible Man, A Wrinkle in Time).


Who Is The Suicide Squad’s Villain?

This is one more thing that is unknown about this movie. Early rumors were stating that the Suicide Squad will face off against either King Shark, or cult-leader Kobra but behind-the-scenes footage indicates that King Shark, played by Steve Agee, will be part of the Suicide Squad team.

After the release of behind-the-scenes footage, some fans started speculating that the main villain is actually Starro The Conqueror, a starfish looking alien and one of the Justice League villains.


The Theme And Tone of The Suicide Squad

James Gunn is resurrecting the Suicide Squad franchise by giving it a brand new look and a bunch of new characters. Although the plot of the movie is still unknown, it is set with a 1970s war action backdrop combined with James Gunn’s comedy that will give this movie everything that was missing in the previous Suicide Squad.

In the words of producer Peter Safran, “This is a gritty 1970s war movie combined with the brilliance of James Gunn’s characters and comedy.”
Peter Safran is also quoted as saying “First of all, we don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 ’cause it’s a total reboot, so it’s The Suicide Squad and I think people should be extremely excited about it. It’s everything you would hope from a James Gunn script and I think that says a lot and that promises a lot and I know that we will deliver a lot.” However, with a few of the main cast reprising their characters, it is more like a soft reboot.


Davis Ayer’s Standpoint: What 2016’s Suicide Squad Director Had To Say?

David Ayer was originally chosen to direct the sequel for his 2016 Suicide Squad but after gaining an overall bad reception on his film and creative differences, he dropped out on this project in December 2016. He was announced to be the director of Gotham City Sirens shortly after that, but that project remains in question with Warner Bros. (and DC Comics) since the studio’s overhaul in administration changes.

Originally, David Ayer wanted to make an R-rated sequel and had other plans for the sequel. However, after watching a behind-the-scenes look of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, Ayer expressed nothing but praise. He declared that he is in love with the 1970s old school vibe of the film and is really confident about the future of this franchise, even though he is no more a part of it. In return, Gunn has acclaimed Ayer’s support for his work and has publicly spoken about releasing the director’s cut of 2016’s Suicide Squad that Ayer had wanted to release for so long. This healthy appreciation and support between the old and new director has served as a source of a boost to fan reception for the film in advance.


The Suicide Squad Posters

During the DC FanDome virtual event, James Gunn released two entertaining posters for the upcoming movie. The posters included all of the new Suicide Squad characters and it gave a reflection to the new fiery 1970s warzone theme of the movie.

Everything We Know About James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021)Just after this poster was released, James Gunn took to twitter to post yet another colorful and fun poster that gave an idea of the thrilling direction where this franchise is headed. This poster was captioned with “#DCFanDome is over, but #TheSuicideSquad lives on… at least until a good amount of them get massacred in August 2021. I can’t tell you guys how moved & grateful I am by all your support & compliments yesterday. Thank you!”

Everything We Know About James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021)

Unlike the previous poster, which was filled with action and explosions, this poster contains animated heads of all the new team members with their names included. It is certainly attention-grabbing and just fun to look at.


Exclusive Sneak Peek Into The Suicide Squad

In place of a formal trailer, this is a snappy, two-minute edit of cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and short clips of footage from the actual film. With so many sneak-peeks and announcements, James Gunn is setting some high expectations for this film.

THE SUICIDE SQUAD – DC FanDome Exclusive Sneak peek

The Suicide Squad – Roll Call (Official Cast Reveal Trailer)


James Gunn is taking the Suicide Squad in a brand new direction by infusing his sense of humor and creativity with the classic DC storyline and characters. It would not be wrong to say that it will be a DC movie with a hint of the much-loved MCU sense of humor. So far, not a single person has anything negative to say about this film and everyone has high hopes from Gunn. With Gunn’s particular style and a host of different DC characters that have not been displayed on screen yet, this movie is sure to hit the screens with an epic blast!




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