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David Ayer's Suicide Squad is a film with a complicated history. The film was famously rushed through development, had to undergo many mid-production changes, and ultimately received some vicious reviews from professional critics when it came out in the summer of 2016. Despite all of this, however, the movie wound up being a massive hit all around the world -- bringing in nearly $750 million worldwide -- so it's not really a huge surprise that Warner Bros. and DC Comics are currently developing a Suicide Squad 2.

The status of the sequel was up in the air for several months, but we know have more crucial details about things like who'll be writing and potentially directing the film that's now known as The Suicide Squad. We also finally have a release date and some information on how this long-gestating sequel is being viewed by the studio, and many of these new tidbits are sure to get you excited for the film! We plan to address all of those things and more with this new edition of our What We Know So Far guides. So read on, and find out absolutely everything we've learned about the development of The Suicide Squad!

Suicide Squad 2016 team shot

What Is The Suicide Squad Release Date?

It's become customary for major movie franchises to announce full slates of projects that look as many as five years into the future -- but that route hasn't worked out so well for the DC Extended Universe so far. As a result, until recently, the only developing blockbuster with actual release dates were James Wan's Aquaman, which dominated the box office when it came out on December 21, 2018, and Shazam!, which is heading for release on April 5, 2019. Recently, though, we actually got the specifics of when we will be seeing Warner Bros. release The Suicide Squad into theaters: August 6, 2021. And, the movie is coming along with an intriguing slate of other DC films now due out in the same year.

As we know, DC and Warner Bros. have been very good at announcing new projects that are in development, without giving so much as a hint as to when they plan for those projects to begin filming or even when we should expect to see them on the big screen. But, this changed in late January 2019, when the release date for The Suicide Squad was revealed along with another long developing and hotly anticipated project, Matt Reeves' The Batman, which is due in theaters on June 25, 2021, and something that hadn't been announced previously, DC Super Pets, which is looking at a May 21, 2021 debut. While it originally seemed as though Suicide Squad 2 could hit a 2019 release, and the wait may seem excruciating, there are reasons to be happy for the delay, which we'll get into in just a bit.

Deadshot and Harley Quinn Suicide Squad 2016

What Is The Suicide Squad Rating?

Films like Deadpool, Deadpool 2 and Logan have done a radical job completely changing the comic book movie game where ratings are concerned. While it was once believed that the blockbusters had to be PG-13 in order to bring in key teenager demographics, it has been shown multiple times that it's very possible to make a crazy amount of money while only appealing to adults. It's not an industry development that Warner Bros. has yet to take advantage of with their DC Extended Universe franchise just yet, and as a result there's every possibility that Suicide Squad 2 will have the same rating as its predecessor -- but it remains a question that doesn't actually have a firm answer.

Prior to the release of Suicide Squad in the summer of 2016, writer/director David Ayer told a reporter that the thought of an R-rated Suicide Squad 2 was an idea "worth lobbying for" -- so with the right minds at work, one could see the approach as still being on the table. That being said, Ayer is not actually making the sequel himself anymore, and the man who is handling The Suicide Squad might wind up thinking that an R-rated approach is stupid. We won't know more on this front until the project moves further into development, which makes for a perfect segue into our next point of discussion...

Joker Suicide Squad Ring of knives

Who Is The Suicide Squad Writer And Director?

Until recently, the subject of who Suicide Squad 2's director would be was a fluid one, as the project existed without a mind to guide it for a while. Given the financial success that the first movie experienced, you'd expect that Warner Bros. would bring David Ayer back for the follow-up, but he's actually unavailable because of his work on another DC Comics property. In early September 2017, the studio finally filled the vacancy, with The Accountant's Gavin O'Connor being hired to direct and write the upcoming blockbuster.

But! That was not the end of the writer/director saga that will eventually bring The Suicide Squad to theaters. In early October 2018 it was announced that James Gunn had been hired to write the film, with word coming in late January 2019 that he was also now set to direct the newest villain team up. Both these bits of news came as a pleasant surprise to superhero movie fans everywhere, as Gunn had been fired from Marvel in the summer of 2018 (after completing the script for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3) when old, offensive tweets of his were dredged up online. As of this writing, Guardians 3 is in serious limbo with no director and pre-production having been shut down months ago, but Suicide Squad 2 has netted itself a fine creative mind.

suicide squad cast

What Is The Suicide Squad Story?

It's early days yet for The Suicide Squad, so we don't know much about the story or who will be included in it. But, when word came down about the new title and release date, there was also a tidbit on information that tells us that this film might be significantly different from its predecessor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio see this movie as more of a relaunch than a direct sequel, with Gunn being free to take the property in a new direction and use a mostly new cast of characters, if he so chooses.

Of course, the whole "rag tag band" concept behind The Suicide Squad already fits with Gunn's aesthetic. Plus, at one time he was interested in writing and directing a Thunderbolts movie for Marvel, but, because that comic book team is so similar to DC's Suicide Squad, the idea for that movie was abandoned once Suicide Squad got off the ground. No matter what he decides to do with the story, though, it's sure to be intriguing and likely a lot more fun than what we saw in the original.

Deadshot Suicide Squad Will Smith

Deadshot

Given the star power of Will Smith, talk about a possible Deadshot spin-off began almost immediately after Suicide Squad's release in the summer of 2016. However, when Warner Bros. and DC announced their upcoming slate at San Diego Comic-Con in 2017, that particular project wasn't revealed as part of their plans. As such, we were basically led to believe that the next time we would see the sharpshooter antihero would be in The Suicide Squad - but apparently that won't be the case.

In late February 2019 it was reported that Will Smith would not be able to reprise his role as Deadshot in The Suicide Squad due to scheduling conflicts. It's not entirely clear what project it is that is keeping Smith out of the blockbuster sequel, but the word is that there is no ill will felt by either party, and the split was amicable.

Harley Quinn Margot Robbie Suicide Squad

Harley Quinn

The first Suicide Squad was as divisive as big blockbusters really get, but if most movie-goers and critics could agree on anything, it was appreciation for Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. Sure, her involvement in the story didn't make a lot of sense (given that she was primarily being used for her connections with the Joker, and the Joker wasn't a part of the actual mission), but, still, it was easy to enjoy Robbie's take on the vivid personality, and it satisfied years of anticipating the character's big screen debut. As entertaining as the performance was, however, right now there doesn't seem to be an absolute guarantee that Harley will be coming back for Suicide Squad 2.

We've heard rumblings that Warner Bros. is interested in creating a trilogy of new films that star the mallet-obsessed former psychologist, and while The Suicide Squad could certainly end up being one of those, there are several other movies in the works set to star Harley Quinn. Part of the reason why writer/director David Ayer isn't coming back for the sequel is because he's been actively developing Gotham City Sirens -- and should that fully move forward, it may see the DC Extended Universe prefer to pair Harley Quinn with Poison Ivy and Catwoman instead of reuniting her with the Suicide Squad. The character will next be seen in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which began filming in mid-January 2019, and there have also been rumors of a Harley / Joker film. Nothing is set in stone yet, and it's very possible that Harley will ultimately be back for Suicide Squad 2, but right now it's a situation that's very much up in the air.

The Joker Jared Leto Suicide Squad

The Joker

There is no future more unclear in the DC Extended Universe than that of Jared Leto's The Joker. The Oscar-winner notoriously acted like a total (admittedly in-character) nutcase while filming the original Suicide Squad, and not only was his performance ultimately derided by critics, but Leto himself was also very outspoken about the final cut of the blockbuster. As a result, we really have no idea when we can next expect him to appear in the franchise, whether it be in Suicide Squad 2, or possibly never again.

Certainly one major factor in all of this will be whether or not the sequel winds up seeing the return of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, as we just discussed. If it's decided that she should be used in Birds of Prey, then saved for Gotham City Sirens and left out of Suicide Squad 2, the studio may also not bring back the Clown Prince of Crime either. Another thing potentially standing in the way of Leto's version of The Joker coming back for the sequel? He's currently attached to star in Sony's Spider-Verse film Morbius The Living Vampire, which has been adding to its cast and seems to be moving right along through production. So, where will The Joker show up next? We'll just have to wait and see.

Killer Croc Suicide Squad

Killer Croc

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Killer Croc was one of the main characters in the first Suicide Squad, but we didn't exactly get to know too much about him. We know he prefers living underwater, eats raw meat/flesh, has tough lizard-like skin, and enjoys watching BET, but that's really all the backstory that the DC Extended Universe provides for the anti-hero. As such, we hope that he will wind up getting more opportunities to shine in Suicide Squad 2 -- should he return.

From an effects standpoint it was very cool to see a strange comic book character like Killer Croc come to life in Suicide Squad, but it also wasn't hard to be disappointed by the lack of characterization he was provided. He has a very long history in DC Comics, primarily going up against Batman under the streets of Gotham City, and, hopefully, if James Gunn decides to use him he can figure out a proper way to utilize Croc beyond "he can swim really well."

Captain Boomerang Jai Courtney Suicide Squad

Captain Boomerang

While both Deadshot and Killer Croc walked away from their first Suicide Squad mission with a few perks, Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang really got screwed. Thanks to his perpetual escape attempts, the Australian thief doesn't get a TV in his room or even an espresso machine -- but instead is rewarded with what looks like a permanent stay in solitary confinement where he is monitored constantly by an armed guard. Basically, Karma is a bitch.

Captain Boomerang has long been a mainstay in Suicide Squad comics, and considering he was one of the actual highlights of the first movie, one would like to assume that we will see him return in Suicide Squad 2, but there are no guarantees right now. Another thing don't know is, if he does show up, what kind of shape will he be in? When we first met him he was constantly cracking jokes and being generally offensive, but maybe time in his tiny, tiny cell will help adjust his attitude a bit.

Katana Suicide Squad 2016

Katana

Provided that she actually comes back, Katana would need some serious redemption in the storyline of Suicide Squad 2. While Karen Fukuhara certainly looked badass in the role, she was given nothing to do in the first movie other than swing her special sword and be the target of other character's exposition, and it's hard to even recall if she had any lines. The character's legacy from DC Comics deserves much more than that, and we'll see if the sequel actually delivers.

In the DC Extended Universe, Katana isn't a rehabilitating prisoner, but instead is an associate of Rick Flag's who was apparently asked to be a part of the first Suicide Squad mission. Given the flimsiness of that set-up, properly fitting her into The Suicide Squad might actually be a tricky endeavor for Gunn, but it's not an impossible job. That being said, she could ultimately be left out of the sequel entirely.

Rick Flag Joel Kinnaman Suicide Squad

Rick Flag

Last time around, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) was supposed to be the true leader of the Suicide Squad -- the moral soldier who could control the supervillains -- but that didn't exactly work out as planned. Instead, the guy pretty much screwed up his entire job by getting super emotional about Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne), and letting the Enchantress go wild. As far as overall job performance goes, the guy basically got a "D-" ... which is why we're not entirely sure if he'll be coming back as part of the Suicide Squad 2 ensemble.

Being a team that is technically representative of the government, the Suicide Squad makes a bit more sense as a unit when it's led by someone who isn't criminally insane, but that job doesn't have to belong to Rick Flag -- and in the world of the DC Extended Universe it would probably make sense if it doesn't going forward. Even if the character doesn't come back with a key role to play, however, we can at least hope that The Suicide Squad gives us an idea of what happened to him. Joel Kinnaman seems confident that the project will find a role for him to play, so we'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

Amanda Waller Suicide Squad Viola Davis

Amanda Waller

Amanda Waller is one of the toughest tough cookies in all of DC Comics lore, and that definitely came across in Viola Davis' first Suicide Squad performance. The woman not only has an extremely clear idea of what she wants in this life, but is also willing to go to some pretty extreme personal lengths in order to get the job done. Most importantly, though, she rules the titular team with an iron thumb, and it's why we definitely expect her to be back in action in Suicide Squad 2.

Admittedly things didn't exactly go as planned the first time that Amanda Waller worked to assemble a team of supervillains, but if there's anyone out there who can convince her higher ups of giving her another shot, it's Waller. One can assume she will once again be put in the position of not only assembling the eponymous unit in The Suicide Squad, but will also be the one to assign them whatever mission they need to accomplish.

Be sure to keep checking back with this guide to get updated information on The Suicide Squad prior to its release. In the meantime, you can check out a wide array of our What We Know So Far Guides right here!

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