James Gunn’s first entry into the DCEU is about to hit movie theaters. 2021’s The Suicide Squad is a follow-up to 2016’s Suicide Squad, which was panned by critics and fans. The major problem was studio interference in David Ayer’s work on that film. That has become an incredibly unfortunate hallmark of the DCEU over the years. Hopefully, Gunn didn’t have the same issue on this project.
To differentiate his film from the previous one, Gunn decided to bring in a lot of new characters. While some have been announced, it has also been stated that there are more involved that haven’t revealed, yet. This should be an interesting movie if nothing else and it’s shaping up to be a uniquely James Gunn experience, for better or worse.
Returning members of the Suicide Squad
While there are a lot of new faces in this movie, there are also a few familiar ones. Margot Robbie is making her return as Harley Quinn. This might be her final turn as the character as she currently has no plans to play her, again. Viola Davis will continue to portray Amanda Waller, the brains behind the Suicide Squad’s braun. She is a power player in a world filled with superheroes, monsters, and madmen.
Joel Kinnaman is also popping back up as the team’s leader, Rick Flag. The actor was given somewhat of a fresh start in this film and has said Flag will be more enjoyable to watch this time around. Hopefully, the same will be true of Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang. He was a flat, one-note character in the first film with a lot of missed potential. But the same was true of most of the roster in the 2016 movie.
The main new friends and family
When Elba was announced for The Suicide Squad, he was initially replacing Will Smith as Deadshot. That evolved into him playing a character called Bloodsport. An unrepentant killing machine, Bloodsport has a technologically advanced suit and a lot of special weapons. The man is a walking slaughter-fest. It would actually be interesting to see him and Deadshot team up in a future movie.
This one is especially interesting as John Cena is all in. He’s been doing interviews with Gunn and his co-stars in his costume, even when he’s the only one in costume. The Peacemaker’s mission is simple. He wants to achieve world peace and will kill as many people as necessary to get there. He’s a cross between Captain America and The Punisher. Cena has already finished filming an HBO series focused on the character called F#CK! It’s Peacemaker!
Peter Capaldi will also play a key role in the movie as The Thinker. A major villain in the comics, The Thinker is hyper-intelligent and is often the brains behind what less competent bad guys are doing. The movie’s plot seems to include the Suicide Squad capturing The Thinker as part of a larger operation. That being said, whether he formally joins the team or not is unclear. He may just be a target.
The other main member of the cast is possibly the one fans are the most excited about. Voiced by Sylvester Stallone, King Shark is quite literally an anthropomorphic shark that really enjoys being a shark and eating people. So far, the movie version of the character seems pretty laid back about his situation. Only time will tell if he gets more fired up about being part of the Suicide Squad.
The rest of the Suicide Squad
Calling the rest of this team enormous is an understatement, to say the least. Gunn has been clear that he took as many characters from the comics as DC and Warner Bros. would let him. Keep in mind that this movie is about a team called the Suicide Squad. Expect many of them to die. This movie is going to be an absolute bloodbath, which is what the first one should have been.
One character who has been featured heavily in the trailers is David Dastmalchian as the Polka-Dot Man. In the comics, he’s an intermittent enemy of Batman’s who has technologically advanced polka-dots on his costume. They become different weapons and modes of transportation. If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. And he will be perfect for this movie.
Since this film is directed by James Gunn, several of his usual buddies are all making appearances. Michael Rooker will play Savant, a nefarious computer hacker. Sean Gunn is pulling double duty as the Batman villain Calendar Man and the basically feral Weasel. The weirdest of them all might be fan-favorite actor Nathan Fillion who is playing T.D.K. He has the power to pull off his own arms and beat people with them.
And that still isn’t the entire roster. Everyone’s favorite SNL cast member Pete Davidson is playing the mentally weak mercenary Blackguard. German comedian Flula Borg is playing Javelin. He is called Javelin because he throws javelins at people. If you’re starting a dead pool for this movie, putting money on Javelin to die will be a safe bet. The same goes for T.D.K. and Savant.
Two intriguing new teammates
As one would expect from a James Gunn movie, the concept of family will play a big part in The Suicide Squad. It certainly did in both Guardians of the Galaxy films. Daniella Melchior is playing Ratcatcher 2. She’s a second generation bank robber who can communicate with and command rats. Her father, the first Ratcatcher, is being played by another MCU directing alum, Taika Waititi.
How the family dynamic aspect of the Ratcatchers plays out should be interesting. Gunn has said that Ratcatcher 2 is the heart of the story, so expect her to play a big role in the movie. Even more interesting than that is the fact that Waititi is also playing Starro, a giangantic space starfish. It’s likely the character Waititi was born to play.
Another telling member of the team is Mongal. She’s described as a genocidal alien mass murderer. But in the comics, she part of a family of powerful warriors who plague Superman as well as other DC heroes. Her inclusion in this movie could indicate the beginning of something bigger when it comes to galactic threats in the DCEU.
Right now, there are a lot of game pieces in place for The Suicide Squad. But everything hinges on how James Gunn uses them in the story. His work in the MCU has certainly earned him a lot of trust and respect from fans. They are definitely willing to go on this journey with him. At the same time, hopefully there aren’t too many characters in play for this narrative to come together properly.