Did… did King Shark just rip a man in half? OK, I am so in on James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
You might be wondering what is going on here. Didn’t you already see a Suicide Squad movie? And didn’t that movie ALSO feature Margot Robbie as the lunatic Harley Quinn? Yes, and yes. But one of the freedoms that DC Films has worked toward in the past few years is establishing a universe where filmmakers with strong creative ideas could come and pitch ideas -- maybe like a Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix -- then be encouraged to go fly. James Gunn had an idea for a The Suicide Squad movie. The first trailer suggests that it was a very very good idea.
There are threads that connect The Suicide Squad to the existing DCEU. Margot Robbie, in particular, reprises her role from David Ayer’s movie, as does Jai Courtney and Joel Kinnamen. Outside of that, this is a whole new mission (still run by Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller) with a full slate of new characters ready to die for their country. Or, just die in general.
Outside of the first gag about the team working together in order to rescue the volatile Harley Quinn (Robbie), we don’t get a grand sense of the main mission here. Idris Elba’s Bloodsport is viewed as the team leader -- take that for what it is -- and James Gunn’s ribald humor is on display with the lengthy conversation about whether John Cena’s Peacemaker character would be willing to eat a bag of dicks if it meant guaranteeing freedom.
Spoiler: He totally would.
The rest of this The Suicide Squad trailer sets the tone while also emphasizing the sheer number of characters who are at James Gunn’s disposal… meaning, he can kill them off in wild fashion. No offense to either Pete Davidson, or the great Michael Rooker, who has worked with James Gunn numerous times (especially on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise). But I expect those guys to die in battle relatively quickly, and I hope in a really bloody fashion.
The standout? I have to go with my guy King Shark, who appears to be voiced by Sylvester Stallone. Seeing him in live action reminds me of how successful James Gunn was with characters like Rocket Raccoon and Groot. They routinely stole the show away from human counterparts, and seeing King Shark survive deep into the battle was encouraging.
The Suicide Squad arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6. It looks to be very different from the tone that David Ayer set, but this seems to be the direction that DC will be heading towards in the future.