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The Suicide Squad around Rick Flag

James Gunn has become a major player in the film world over the past few years, in no short part due to the success of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. His Marvel blockbuster made Gunn a household name, becoming one of the most popular franchises in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following his (temporary) firing by Disney, the filmmaker pivoted to Marvel's competition, singing on to write and direct The Suicide Squad in the DCEU.

David Ayer's original Suicide Squad left something to be desired, so DC fans are excited to see what James Gunn will bring to the table. After all, he's got experience with a motley crew of superpowered characters who manage to connect and team up. Gunn has been keeping his plans for the sequel/reboot pretty close to the chest, although he recently teased "explosions and falling structures" on the movie, in an Instagram post about none other than Clint Eastwood.

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Clint Eastwood has been one of my heroes for a long time. His films, both as a director and actor, are an enormous influence. Unforgiven is a cinematic lynchpin for me, a movie that blew my mind the first time I saw it and has continued to do so every one of the 25 or so times I’ve seen it since - but his influence as a director goes all the way back to his debut with Play Misty for Me. That’s not even to mention his work as an actor with Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, two other directors I adore, and his work in gems like In the Line of Fire, Magnum Force, and Where Eagles Dare. Hell - I even, somewhat embarrassingly, know all the words to all the songs in Paint Your Wagon. So when The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran and I got the opportunity to hang out with Clint on the set of his new film, The Ballad of Richard Jewell, I was nervous. After all, they say never meet your heroes. But in person, Clint was kind and easy to talk to. And we got to talk a lot - about his directing style, his new movie, the movies he’s made previously, and more. Clint has a Buddha-like serenity in the middle of the madness of filmmaking, and I got to watch him take charge of an enormous set with a quiet authority - soft words that ripple giant waves. He showed his crew the kindness, loyalty and respect they deserved (and they love him for it in return.) In short, he was just the kind of guy I’d hope he’d be (also, the movie looks amazing and Paul Walter Hauser - @pwhauser - as Richard Jewell is killing it.) So as far as the whole “don’t meet your heroes” thing goes, my experience is 8 out of 10 times you SHOULD. Thanks for inviting us into your home, Clint! I’ll try and take a little bit of that serenity as I walk into the explosions and falling structures of The Suicide Squad.

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Now this is exciting. James Gunn is clearly pleased as punch to have met one of his filmmaking heroes, and in it he managed to drop the smallest of hints about The Suicide Squad. He and producer Peter Safran got to meet Clint Eastwood together, and it might just influence their upcoming DC blockbuster.

James Gunn took to Instagram to share his excitement about meeting Clint Eastwood, although the comic book fans out there are likely more fixated with his brief mentions of The Suicide Squad. The DCEU has had its fair share of peaks and valleys throughout the years, including the performance of the original Suicide Squad movie. Despite winning an Oscar and making tons of money, David Ayer's blockbuster failed to really connect with either critics or audiences.

The Suicide Squad has the potential to revive the franchise, and deliver the type of quirky and thrilling movie that fans were hoping for. James Gunn's involvement has helped amp up excitement about the developing blockbuster, as he signifies the very best that the superhero genre is capable of. The Guardians movies are indeed hilarious and full of action, but they're also emotional stories that are focused on the concept of family. And for that reason, moviegoers can even connect with a talking Raccoon or blue robot lady.

Of course, James Gunn's work on The Suicide Squad is a bit of a double edged sword for comic book fans. Namely because Gunn is going to handle his DC debut before jumping back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this Guardians threequel. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was originally set to be one of the first installments to Phase Four, although Gunn's firing put it on indefinite hold. This is when he signed on for The Suicide Squad, which further delayed Guardians 3 after he was reinstated as director.

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.

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