Viola Davis Officially Returning As Waller For The Suicide Squad

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller

DC's live-action universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, with plenty of twists and turns accompanying each blockbuster. During the DCEU's early stages, Warner Bros. failed to acquire a true critical and box office darling. Batman v Superman, Justice League, and Suicide Squad all failed to live up to their expectations, and it seemed like the behemoth franchise was in jeopardy. But DC seems to have course correct, focusing less on crossovers and serialized storytelling and more on individual director-driven blockbusters.

Just look at The Suicide Squad, which will be written and directed by Guardians of the Galaxy visionary James Gunn. Gunn will take on the titular team of villains from David Ayer, who helmed the somewhat disappointing first film. Gunn has been focused on bringing his cast together, featuring both newcomers and returning players from Suicide Squad. And now another returning face has joined the new project, as Viola Davis will reportedly reprise her role as Amanda Waller.

This news comes to us from The Wrap, as the publication has contacts with someone close to production. While Viola Davis' involvement hasn't been officially confirmed by the studio, it's a development that should get DC fans very excited. Because while not every aspect of the first Suicide Squad was successful, Davis brought a tenacity and ruthlessness to Amanda Waller that the next movie would be remiss to exclude.

If the report is to be believed, Viola Davis is the second Suicide Squad actor to officially sign on for James Gunn's developing movie. She joins Jai Courtney, who played the rowdy Captain Boomerang in the first film. It's also widely believed that Margot Robbie will return to play Harley Quinn for the third time, although that hasn't been officially confirmed by the studio yet.

Viola Davis returning as Amanda Waller potentially provides The Suicide Squad with an enemy for the titular team of villains to face off again. David Ayer's Oscar winning movie showed what Waller was calculating, manipulative, and steadfast in her beliefs. She was willing to kill the Squad as well as her own team in order to accomplish her goals, and make it out of the conflict with The Enchantress alive.

Suicide Squad's post-credits scene also saw Amanda Waller come face to face with Ben Affleck's Batman. What's more, she knew his true identity as Bruce Wayne. But with Affleck officially hanging up his cowl and cape, we probably won't see this plot line come to fruition. But at least Oscar and Emmy winner Viola Davis is returning to bring life to Waller once more.

It should be interesting to see who else returns for The Suicide Squad. Idris Elba is taking on the role of Deadshot, while it's also been reported that James Gunn is bringing new characters into the team. We'll just have to wait and see.

Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad poster

Viola Davis' potential involvement in The Suicide Squad is fascinating, and might tease what James Gunn has in store for his upcoming DC debut. The writer/director reportedly wants to approach the blockbuster more like a reboot than a sequel, not necessarily picking up the narrative after the first film. This seems like a great idea considering the movie's disappointment performance, and would allow Gunn to do some world-building and assemble a motley crew of comic book characters.

James Gunn's reported commitment to a full reboot gained steam with Idris Elba's casting as Deadshot. Will Smith's performance as the character was one of Suicide Squad's stronger points, so having him return to the role seems like a no brainer. But he ultimately tapped out, leaving room for Elba to take on the mantle. Since then, DC fans waited to see what other characters could be recast.

But so far Deadshot is the only character who will be played by a new actor. What's more, James Gunn is reportedly bringing back a variety of characters from the first film for The Suicide Squad, including Captain Boomerang and Amanda Waller. Margot Robbie's Harley seems like an obvious choice to help roundup the cast, although she'll first appear in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).

Amanda Waller's inclusion in The Suicide Squad also makes a great deal of sense, as the Viola Davis' character didn't actually change much throughout the course of the first movie. When Enchantress is taken down by the motley crew of characters, Waller seems just as dedicated to her cause. And while the titular team was given a decade off their sentences and some special privileges, they were all promptly sent back to Belle Reve at Waller's behest.

If The Suicide Squad's narrative is at all influenced by the events of the first movie, Amanda Waller should be floating on her success. The concept of the Squad worked out in the end, even if her treatment of Enchantress was also the cause of the conflict. Since then, there have been even more superheroic events from Justice League, Aquaman, and even Shazam! It seems the DCEU needs Waller's team of villains more than ever. At least, that's what she'd want the authorities to think.

James Gunn signed onto The Suicide Squad before Disney welcomed him back to the fold for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. As such, his DC movie should come to theaters before the Guardians get their eventual threequel. And he seems like an inspired choice to take on the franchise, as he's clearly demonstrated a knack for ensemble comic book movies with a motley crew of underdogs. So perhaps he'll be able to bring the Suicide Squad to where the team deserves.

The first trailer for David Ayer's Suicide Squad was hot fire, as "Bohemian Rhapsody" played to accompany the wild characters and action shots. Unfortunately, that same energy failed to transfer to the final cut, although the movie still made great money, won an Oscar for makeup, and kickstarted a spinoff and eventual sequel.

The Suicide Squad is currently set to arrive in theaters on August 6th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.