James Gunn Explains Why King Shark Looks The Way He Does In The Suicide Squad Trailer

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James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is easily one of the most anticipated films of the year, and the hype surely increased after that first official trailer dropped last week. There’s a lot to love about the footage, and one character has already emerged as an early fan favorite. I’m, of course, talking about the ravenous and hilarious King Shark, voiced by none other than Sylvester Stallone. While many fans were pleased with the early glimpses of the DC Comics character, some may have still wondered how his physical appearance was decided on. Now, Gunn has provided some context on this front.

In the comics, King Shark has appeared as a great white shark or a hammerhead shark and, in The Suicide Squad, he appears as the former. James Gunn addressed this very thing on Twitter, and while he liked the hammerhead design, it sounds like it wasn’t very practical for the purposes of his movie:

I did tests with the hammerhead design, which I love & originally thought I’d use. But having eyes on the sides far apart made it incredibly awkward shooting interactions with other people. You couldn’t really see him looking at the other person & the shots tended to be too wide.

Although the hammerhead design would have been cool to see on the big screen, James Gunn’s logic is totally understandable. Comic books and animated projects are one thing, but presenting that iteration of King Shark in a live-action film would have been challenging, to say the least. Nevertheless, Gunn went on to say that he definitely wanted to maintain a key part of King Shark’s appearance:

But I was insistent on the dad-bod from the beginning as I didn’t think King Shark would have such mammalian body structure.

King Shark’s dad-bod is just one of the many great things about him, and it’s been a staple of the character for years. You can check out our dad-bodded king joining in on the action and ripping people to shreds in the trailer down below:

King Shark was originally introduced in the pages of Superboy back in 1994 and, since then, the character has shown up in a plethora of titles. Aside from showing up in animated films, he’s also appeared on The Flash, which also went with a great white shark revamp of the character. More recently, King Shark has also been featured heavily on the critically acclaimed Harley Quinn animated series. This show is currently streaming on HBO Max, which you can sign up for using this link.

King Shark’s presence in The Suicide Squad is a testament to James Gunn’s willingness to utilize odder characters from the DC Universe. I mean it’s not crazy to think that few filmmakers would be willing to utilize characters like Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher 2 or Weasel. And who would have thought fans would get to see a live-action version of DC Comics villain Starro? Needless to say, this odd combination is going to make for one wild movie.

The Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters and HBO Max on August 6.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.