Hot on the trail of the first Bird of Prey (2020) trailer comes a first peak at James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021) cast, announced on Saturday.
Much to the excitement of fans, this new film seems to exist in a grey area of both sequel and reboot, hopefully washing away the bad taste left in people’s mouths by 2016’s Suicide Squad. In trying to beat Marvel at their own game DC unfortunately stumbled, sending out its films like their very own suicide squad to be slaughtered by critics and fans alike. However, with Guardians of the Galaxy veteran James Gunn at the helm, DC seems to have finally roused anticipation in superhero fans universally. In a cryptic tweet that reads “Don’t get too attached”, Gunn announced a whole host of actors – some of whom are returning cast members – as well as lots of new faces.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) September 13, 2019
Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney and Joel Kinnaman are all reprising their original roles. Will Smith and Jared Leto are, however, notably absent from this announcement feeding into the rumours that Leto’s Joker has been put out to pasture. Another key takeaway from this announcement is the sheer number of Marvel stars, golden boy Taika Watiti included, tempted to the dark side of comic-book movies, following Gunn like he’s the pied piper of superheroes.
Overall, DC seems to be learning from the mistakes of its past – to the point of directly overwriting them – and growing to find its own place in this overcrowded superhero party. If Gunn brings even an ounce of the talent he brought to Guardians, there is no doubt in my mind that The Suicide Squad (2021) could be DC’s first ensemble film that challenges Marvel’s market monopoly.
Words by Danni Scott