Whoa: Taika Waititi Is Joining James Gunn's The Suicide Squad

Taika Waititi directing Thor Ragnarok

It was pretty shocking late last year when we learned that writer/director James Gunn - who had previously been fired from the production of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 - had signed a deal with Warner Bros. to direct DC Comics' upcoming The Suicide Squad. As amazing as that is, however, now things are getting even crazier, as it turns out that he won't be the only Marvel Studios-affiliated filmmaker involved with the project. In a bit of awesome "Whoa!" news, new reports are saying that Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi is now in talks to join the project as an actor.

This news comes to us from Deadline, but sadly the story doesn't have much going on in terms of details. As of right now we don't know either what role the New Zealand performer/filmmaker has in film, or how big his part will actually be. What is funny, though, is that it will actually be the second DC Comics character Taika Waititi has played on the big screen, as he previously played Tom Kalmaku in Martin Campbell's Green Lantern back in 2011.

Waititi and James Gunn, of course, aren't the only people in Hollywood who have both DC Extended Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe titles on their resumes - with other notable names on that particular list including Laurence Fishburne (Man Of Steel/Ant-Man And The Wasp), J.K. Simmons (Justice League/Spider-Man: Far From Home), and Idris Elba (who is also crossing the bridge for The Suicide Squad after playing Heimdall in the Thor movies/Avengers: Infinity War). That being said, it's still a bit weird when it's directors who are doing projects for competing franchises.

With a back catalog of excellent directorial efforts like Boy, What We Do In The Shadows, and The Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Taika Waititi became one of the most sought-after talents in Hollywood following the blockbuster release of Thor: Ragnarok, and right now he is facing an immensely busy fall season.

In addition to filming his part in The Suicide Squad, he is also going to be on the promotional tour for his latest movie, Jojo Rabbit, which Fox Searchlight is putting out in mid-October. He is also preparing to take the helm of another small movie he is prepping to shoot - the sports comedy Next Goal Wins - and during all of that he will also be writing the script for and preparing to direct Thor: Love And Thunder, which will be going before cameras in the second half of next year.

Should he finalize his deal for The Suicide Squad and sign on the dotted line, Taika Waititi will become part of a massive ensemble that seems to grow bigger with each passing day. The feature will include returning stars Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), and Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag) among newcomers including David Dastmalchian (Polka-Dot Man), Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher), Steve Agee (King Shark), Flula Borg, Nathan Fillion, and the aforementioned Idris Elba.

The Suicide Squad is currently on track to start production at the end of next month, and Warner Bros. already has plans to release it on August 6, 2021 - which will be six years after the release of the David Ayer-directed original. We'll be keeping a close eye on the project as it moves through the rest of the stages of development, so be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest updates.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.