Why The Suicide Squad’s Joel Kinnaman Doesn’t View The Film As A Sequel To The Original

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The DC Extended Universe had a unique life in theaters, and the surprises keep on coming. One of the most hotly anticipated projects coming down the line is James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, which will be a sequel/reboot to David Ayer's 2017 movie. A handful of actors are returning to reprise their roles, including Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag. And now the 41 year-old actor has explained why he doesn't view the upcoming R-rated blockbuster as a sequel.

David Ayer's original Suicide Squad movie had a ton of excitement behind it, but unfortunately failed to resonate with audiences. This is at least partly due to studio interference, and fans are eager to see beloved characters like Flag and Harley Quinn back on the big screen in another project. But James Gunn is a director known for having his own bold vision, and Joel Kinnaman explained how this resulted in it not feeling like a sequel. In his words,

With James Gunn, it’s a whole new universe. It’s a completely different thing. We kinda all just started with a blank slate…It doesn’t feel like we’re doing a sequel in any way. It’s a strange kinda middle ground of a reboot. Something in between there.

Touche. James Gunn will be going from Marvel to DC with The Suicide Squad, and fans are eager to see what he's going to do with the titular group of villains. And while plenty of franchises have seen new filmmakers step into the director's chair, Joel Kinnaman makes the disconnect between projects seem palpable by citing what Gunn brings to the table.

Joel Kinnaman's comments to The Playlist show what it's really like working within the DC Extended Universe. And while he is one of the few returning actors to return for The Suicide Squad, it doesn't sound like the two projects have all that much in common. The cast and rating of James Gunn's DC debut certainly indicate as much.

The Suicide Squad is expected to hit HBO Max at the same time as its theatrical release. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Given James Gunn's success in the superhero genre, it makes a great deal of sense that Warner Bros. seemingly gave the filmmaker free range to create something new for The Suicide Squad. His work in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is universally acclaimed, and he was given his choice of DC properties before landing on Task Force X.

It should be interesting to see how Joel Kinnaman's character Rick Flag changes in The Suicide Squad. His first appearance saw the character eventually managing to connect with the team, while saving his girlfriend June. The limited images we'e seen from James Gunn have seen the character abandon his uniform, possibly joining Task Force X as an equal rather than a supervisor.

James Gunn is clearly very passionate about The Suicide Squad, which he's described as his biggest and most fun project he's ever been apart of. The R-rated movie will star a massive cast of characters, many of which likely won't make it out alive. And with the returning faces of Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and Margot Robbie, there will still be some connective tissue between two very distinct blockbusters.

The Suicide Squad is currently expected to hit theaters on August 6th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

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.