Suicide Squad 2 Gets New Title, Release Date & Director James Gunn
While Suicide Squad‘s most beloved character—Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn—has her own film coming out, the sequel to one of the DC Extended Universe’s biggest hits has been on hold for a quite a while. Until now. The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Guardian of the Galaxy‘s James Gunn is helming the project. What’s more, the film will be less of a sequel and more of a “relaunch,” hence its new title—The Suicide Squad. THR‘s sources say that Gunn will be focusing on mostly new characters (one imagines that Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Will Smith’s Deadshot will make the cut), and will be “very much rooted in Gunn’s vibe, as seen in the Guardians movies.” The Suicide Squad is expected on August 6, 2021.
This news follows a busy two days in the DCEU. Yesterday we learned a bit more about Matt Reeves’ standalone Batman film, with Reeves confirming that it’s going to be a noir detective story and will also likely come out in 2021. We have been tracking Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, which is currently filming and will be focused on Robbie’s Quinn and her fellow superheroines Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. Birds of Prey is due out on February 7, 2020. Todd Phillips’ The Joker—due in theaters on October 4, 2019—will give us a gritty, relatively low-budget (for a superhero/supervillain film) look at the origin story of Joaquin Phoenix’s comedian-turned-psychopath Arthur Fleck.
All of these projects have a few things in common; they’re being led by filmmakers with very specific visions, they’re standalone superhero flicks that don’t require the same kind of universe-managing the interconnected films do, and, with the exception of The Batman, they’re focused on villains or antiheroes. Reeves mentioned that Warner Bros. and DC had given him wide latitude to explore the Batman story he wanted to tell. This approach seems like the sensible one; rather than trying to beat Marvel at their own universe-building game, giving talented filmmakers the creative flexibility to tell really interesting one-off stories is great for audiences and creators alike. Besides, the DCEU already has two massive superhero franchises in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and James Wan’s Aquaman. Wonder Woman 1984 is due in theaters on June 5, 2020, while all Wan’s Aquaman did is make DCEU history.
Featured image: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in ‘Suicide Squad.’ Courtesy Warner Bros.