James Gunn Reveals How The Suicide Squad Helped Him With Grief

Harley drinking espresso in The Suicide Squad

DC's live-action universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, full of peaks and valleys. After a shaky start, Warner Bros. seems to have found its footing with acclaimed projects like Aquaman, Shazam! and Birds Of Prey. There's also some highly anticipated projects coming down the pipeline, chief among them being James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. The acclaimed filmmaker went through a variety of personal troubles before and during filming, and he recently explained why working on the blockbuster was actually helpful.

Just two weeks before starting up principal photography on The Suicide Squad, James Gunn lost his father. That was obviously a huge loss, and Gunn continued to show up for work and create art for his DC debut. What's more, his dog died during filming, resulting in James Gunn taking a brief break from filming. But it turns out that working on the villain-centric movie was actually helpful for him during this difficult time. As he recently revealed on social media,

I made a commitment to all the people around me to make the movie, so I would have never backed out of that. But even still, along with talking with Jenn, my family and friends, the creative process was what most helped me get over my grief.

That's certainly heartwarming. James Gunn has always put all of himself into his work, especially on Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. And now it looks like the process of creating The Suicide Squad and working with the cast actually helped him work through some difficult emotions.

James Gunn shared this glimpse into his personal and creative life over on Instagram. While working on The Suicide Squad, Gunn regularly participated in informal Q&As on his story. He usually takes this time to shut down rumors or tease elements of his upcoming comic book movies, but this time the director/writer got a bit more personal.

Clearly James Gunn feels very passionately about The Suicide Squad. When taking meetings with DC, he was able to pick whichever property most spoke to him. And being a huge comic book fan, Gunn decided to follow up on David Ayer's original Suicide Squad movie. While Gunn's excitement about the villain-centric property will no doubt effect the quality of the movie, it seems he also got something special out of working on his DC debut. He was obviously affected by the death of his father and dog, but work might have helped him get through such a rough time.

It should be interesting to see exactly how James Gunn's connection with The Suicide Squad affects its theatrical cut. The movie will deal with death and grief, as not every member of the A-list cast will make it out alive. The highly anticipated DC movie should also have Gunn's signature sense of humor, and hopefully some dance moves as well.

The Suicide Squad is currently set to arrive in theaters on August 6th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.