THE SUICIDE SQUAD rebooted characters

The mega-talented, and previously controversial, James Gunn has signed on to direct DC’s SUICIDE SQUAD reboot. The reboot is tentatively being dubbed: THE SUICIDE SQUAD. That’s not confusing at all, right? Interestingly, Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman solo film has the working title: THE BATMAN. DC’s really going through a “THE: TITLE” phase, huh?

Let’s take a look at what’s known thus far about THE SUICIDE SQUAD and why it’s already looking more promising than its predecessor.

SUICIDE SQUAD: What Happened?

SUICIDE SQUAD had a few good… moments. Batman’s cameo was thrilling. Margot Robbie stole the show as Harley Quinn. However, the movie felt disjointed. Robbie’s perfect Harley Quinn wasn’t enough to keep the rest of SUICIDE SQUAD afloat. The movie was jumbled, forced at times, and altogether misshapen.

The beginning of SUICIDE SQUAD looked more like an advertisement than a movie. Characters were introduced with flashy titles and onscreen “bios,” which felt like a lazy exposition tactic. The end of the film also employs the overused “giant sky beam.” The sky beam trope can be traced all way back to 1984’s GHOSTBUSTERS. It’s the classic blockbuster “obstacle” that the hero must overcome. Superhero films such as THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MAN OF STEEL, and THE AVENGERS all include a sky beam in their climax. SUICIDE SQUAD traveled into sky beam territory, and there was nothing unique about the movie’s denouement.

Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Unfortunately, SUICIDE SQUAD fell victim to both pre-production and post-production issues. Firstly, director David Ayer was given minimal time to write his script. Also, after shooting wrapped, Warner Brothers decided against using Ayer’s edit of the movie. As a result, the final cut of the film felt like a hodgepodge of warring visions.

In regards to THE SUICIDE SQUAD, let’s hope Warner Brothers trusts James Gunn enough to provide him with full creative control over his story. SUICIDE SQUAD was bogged down by the “creative differences” of the director and the production company, so it didn’t reach its full potential. I strongly believe James Gunn will turn Suicide Squad into something fresh. He can make a reboot that feels necessary — that could spawn its own franchise, like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

A Reboot (But With Some of the Original Characters)

Despite the critical failure of SUICIDE SQUAD, James Gunn has confirmed that THE SUICIDE SQUAD will carry over some of the original cast members, namely Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), and Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang). So, is THE SUICIDE SQUAD a reboot? Um, yes. And no. DC Executive Producer Peter Safran has stated, “… [THE SUICIDE SQUAD is] a total reboot…” However, this “reboot” will include characters from 2016’s SUICIDE SQUAD. So, what kind of reboot is it?

It seems that Gunn is trying to glean the best parts of SUICIDE SQUAD and transfer them into his own vision. Honestly, I’m all for this. THE SUICIDE SQUAD will push the definition of what a superhero “reboot” is. Perhaps, it will even encourage other upcoming reboots to use previously retconned characters. Also, David Ayer’s characters are spectacular! It’s going to be awesome to see James Gunn’s vision meld with Ayer’s.

Suicide Squad Reboot
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn, and Captain Boomerang made up some of the best moments in SUICIDE SQUAD. Using these key characters to re-familiarize the audience with the Suicide Squad world will draw in a bigger crowd. Also, THE SUICIDE SQUAD will be the ‘first reboot’ to use previously established characters.

New Characters!

Besides Waller, Quinn, and Boomerang, THE SUICIDE SQUAD’s roster has been loosely reported on by Collider. The preliminary list includes Ratcatcher, King Shark, Polka-Dot Man, and Peacemaker. While these characters’ inclusion should be taken with a grain of salt, it’s still interesting to note who James Gunn may currently have in mind.

Characters such as King Shark and Polka-Dot Man have the opportunity to create big, crowd-pleasing CGI moments — moments that were not as apparent in the core crew of 2016’s SUICIDE SQUAD. Gunn’s shortlist of characters is surprising and exciting. It seems like he’s rounding out his team with less popular characters to balance the more ‘mainstream’ appeal of Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang. In doing so, Gunn has created room for himself to venture into unexplored territory and show his audience something new.

Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Idris Elba has also signed on for THE SUICIDE SQUAD and, reportedly, he will no longer be replacing Will Smith as Deadshot. Instead, Elba will take on a completely new role, with Deadshot being removed from the new film. Idris Elba is an incredibly talented actor, and his involvement in THE SUICIDE SQUAD definitely gives the project an exciting edge.

Again, Gunn has given himself room to experiment and not retread too much on the 2016 movie. It is smart to remove Deadshot rather than ‘recast’ him, as this could be confusing to the mainstream audience. Hopefully, Gunn is able to successfully transpose bits and pieces of 2016’s SUICIDE SQUAD into something unique with THE SUICIDE SQUAD.

New Stories!

Besides a preliminary roster, there have also been recent reports of a working name for the production: El Dorado. While it’s quite early to speculate on what kind of story THE SUICIDE SQUAD will tell, the moniker “El Dorado” could be alluding to a heist of sorts or the pursuit of an elusive, mystical artifact. The term “El Dorado” gets me very excited for THE SUICIDE SQUAD’s potential, as ‘the lost city of gold’ has always been an enduringly popular storytelling device. How awesome would it be to see something like this in a comic book movie:

Rebooted THE SUICIDE SQUAD should include El Dorado!
Courtesy of Ancient Origins

With this new reboot comes the possibility of a new genre and tone for the Suicide Squad. SUICIDE SQUAD told a rather straight-forward story where the Squad tries to chase-down their objective (and antagonist): Enchantress. In THE SUICIDE SQUAD, I’d like to see something different — perhaps a heist film — centered around a group of covert Squad operatives. I’d love to see a Suicide Squad story with a vibe similar to OCEAN’s 11. Also, since 2016’s SUICIDE SQUAD told the origin story of the group, it would be interesting to have THE SUICIDE SQUAD start with an already-formed, veteran Squad.

We’re in Capable Hands

The cherry on top for THE SUICIDE SQUAD is James Gunn himself. Gunn’s films have such a stylized and energetic quality to them. Gunn’s unique vision could make THE SUICIDE SQUAD stand out amongst the current onslaught of other superhero movies. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is a magical, heartfelt film that will always be one of my favorite comic book movies. Since Gunn has already proven his ability to tell the story of a group of misfit heroes with GUARDIANS, it only makes sense that he should helm THE SUICIDE SQUAD.

James Gunn to direct THE SUICIDE SQUAD reboot
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

James Gunn’s strength lies in portraying the heart of seemingly soulless people. The adventures of the Suicide Squad can often appear bleak and depressing, so Gunn’s compassionate storytelling will make for a perfect juxtaposition of warmth and grit.

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