James Gunn Explains Why The Suicide Squad's Amanda Waller Wanted THAT Character Dead

Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) speaks with Task Force X in The Suicide Squad (2021)

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Major spoilers for The Suicide Squad lie ahead.

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is filled with some of the most dangerous villains in the DC Extended Universe but, when it comes to being sinister, none of them really hold a candle to Amanda Waller. The government operative has always been a murky character, and Gunn pulled no punches when showing off her ruthless demeanor. This included her willingness to kill off Task Force X operatives when she saw fit. Viola Davis’ Waller had different reasons for offing team members yet, according to James Gunn, her logic for wanting Rick Flag dead was very specific… and kind of petty.

As folks probably remember, Rick Flag entered Corto Maltese with Team 1, consisting of Task Force X members like Harley Quinn, Savant and Weasel. Viewers ultimately learned, though, that these villains were only meant to serve as a distraction, while Team 2, featuring Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Ratcatcher 2, etc., set off to complete the mission. Flagg ultimately survived, but some may still wonder why Waller would put him with the dying group.

It turns out Amanda Waller was looking for a bit of revenge against Colonel Rick Flag. James Gunn recently revealed on the Script Apart podcast that a flashback scene cut from the film would’ve shown a humorous exchange between Waller and Flag. Unfortunately, Waller wouldn’t handle it very well:

One thing that we cut from the film that sometimes I’m like ‘Oh, I wish we didn’t!’ is that we find out why Rick Flag is in that group [1]. We see a flashback where Rick Flag makes fun of Amanda Waller’s shirt. It’s like this really ugly shirt with all these different colors on it, and he says, ‘It looks like a group of clowns shit all over you.’ And Steve Agee’s character, John Economos, is just laughing hysterically at Amanda Waller, and you just see death in Viola Davis’ face. Like, she just looks like death. And that’s why he’s on that beach. But she thinks the rest of them are useless, including Harley.

Just so we’re all clear, never cross Amanda Waller. Yes, an insult regarding her shirt might seem like a small thing to hold a grudge against. But this is Amanda Waller we’re talking about, so something like this is totally in her nature. On a side note, I’d really like to see that deleted scene, and one can only hope that it’s included on The Suicide Squad’s home release.

Although Rick Flag survived the ordeal on the beach, he ultimately met his fate at the hands of Peacemaker, which served as one of The Suicide Squad’s most heartbreaking deaths. As tragic as it was though, the moment still allowed Joel Kinnaman’s Flag to go out as a true hero.

The Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, which you can sign up for using this link.

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.