Warning: SPOILERS for the Peacemaker episode “It’s Cow or Never” are ahead!
Although Peacemaker spun out of the events of The Suicide Squad, for the most part, the HBO Max series was a self-contained affair. Sure, the operation to take out the Butterflies was under the A.R.G.U.S. umbrella, but other than acknowledging that John Cena’s Christopher Smith had killed Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg, plus the return of Jennifer Holland’s Emilia Harcourt and Steve Agee’s John Economos (as well as Viola Davis cameoing as Amanda Waller a couple times), there weren’t any major callbacks to the 2021 DC movie. However, the Peacemaker Season 1 finale delivered a major bombshell that has me questioning the future of the Suicide Squad film series.
As “It’s Cow or Never” wrapped up, Danielle Brooks’ Leota Adebayo, Amanda Waller’s daughter, exposed Task Force X and Operation Butterfly to the press, and even called out her mother as the brains behind the black-ops program. Now the public is aware of the Suicide Squad’s existence, meaning it’s going to be a lot harder for them to go on missions, assuming the team isn’t just scrapped. In fact, there are other factors to consider alongside this twist that could indicate we won’t be getting anymore Suicide Squad movies in the DC Extended Universe.
Peacemaker Season 2 Is Already Happening
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: if me saying Season 1 earlier wasn’t enough of a tipoff, Peacemaker has been renewed for a second season. So right off the bat, we already have a great place to explore the fallout of Leota Adebayo’s press conference. Let’s also not forget that in The Suicide Squad, Idris Elba’s Robert DuBois, a.k.a. Bloodsport, got his hands on the hard drive that contained evidence of the United States government having funded the Corto Maltese government’s experiments on Starro. Between that and Adebayo spilling the beans on Task Force X, Amanda Waller has been back into a deep corner.
Admittedly, it would be difficult to delve into this in Peacemaker Season 2 if Viola Davis is too busy to appear in at least a few episodes. There’s also the possibility that Danielle Brooks might not reprise Leota in Season 2 if James Gunn decides her character is done with the world of black ops for good, which would also make exploring the investigation into Task Force X, if not its straight-up collapse, challenging. Nevertheless, we know for a fact that we’re getting more Peacemaker, and since the series decided to throw this wrench into the works for the Suicide Squad, it’s the logical place for this next chapter to be explored rather than, ironically, in Suicide Squad 3. Speaking of which…
The Suicide Squad Film Series Hasn’t Had The Best Track Record
The two live-action Suicide Squad movies we’ve got have basically had completely opposite theatrical runs. 2016’s Suicide Squad was a commercial success and later won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, but it was met with primarily negative reviews. We’ve also since learned the the theatrical cut of Suicide Squad was significantly different from what writer/director David Ayer originally envisioned, hence why there have been calls for Warner Bros. to release the Ayer Cut. Conversely. 2021’s The Suicide Squad was met with critical acclaim, but was a commercial flop and wasn’t nominated for any Oscars (being put in at least the Best Visual Effects category seemed like a no-brainer).
Maybe if The Suicide Squad had performed better at the box office, Suicide Squad 3 might feel like a sure thing. But as things currently stand, there’s been no indication that a threequel is remotely a possibility. The Suicide Squad has had two chances to shine in a cinematic setting, which is more than can be said for a lot of comic book properties. Yes, there are many Suicide Squad characters from the comics who deserve a chance to shine on the big screen, but Warner Bros. and DC may just be comfortable having The Suicide Squad be the staging ground for Peacemaker and other spinoffs, which brings me to my final point.
James Gunn Is Busy With Other Projects
Peacemaker Season 1 may be finished, but James Gunn isn’t done with DC by a long shot. In addition to writing and directing all of Peacemaker Season 2’s episodes, Gunn teased back in October that he’s working on another DC project. Then in January, he said that this other project would be an HBO Max series in the “same universe” as Peacemaker. This implies it could also be tied to The Suicide Squad; my money’s on it being a Ratcatcher 2 series, but I would also be interested in a spinoff about Bloodsport or a prequel centered on David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man.
In addition to these DC endeavors, James Gunn is currently in the middle of putting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special together. And while Vol. 3 will his last Guardians movie, it’s possible he may be game to work with Marvel Studios on a different property. Between all this, as well as any smaller projects he’s involved with, Gunn might not have time to work on another Suicide Squad movie. Admittedly, Warner Bros. and DC could just hire another filmmaker to direct Suicide Squad 3, but referring back to the points I made in the previous section, they may simply not be keen on keeping this film series going, especially taking into account what Gunn did in Peacemaker Season 1 and what he has coming up.
Obviously if a third live-action Suicide Squad movie is officially announced, we’ll let you know, but between how Peacemaker Season 1 ended and real life concerns, it’s not looking likely. Fortunately, there are plenty of upcoming DC movies to keep fans and general moviegoers entertained in the coming years. Other DCEU shows in development for HBO Max include Justice League Dark and a limited series about the Val-Zod incarnation of Superman.
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