James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad isn’t quite a direct sequel, but it’s not really a reboot, either. It takes place in the same continuity as the original, as evidenced by the returns of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, Jai Courtney’s Boomerang and Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, but it very much exists independently of David Ayer’s original.
That’s definitely for the better, when Suicide Squad was notoriously hampered by studio interference, but Gunn has made it abundantly clear on a number of occasions that Warner Bros. and DC Films approached him after he was fired by Disney and offered him carte blanche to direct any of their comic book blockbusters that he wanted, and he chose the franchise’s resident ensemble of antiheroes because they appealed the most to his inherent R-rated sensibilities.
The footage we’ve seen so far makes it look like the undiluted and unbridled product of the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker’s creative vision, and in a new interview, Kinnaman was asked about the differences between his first and second appearances in the DCEU, and he couldn’t have painted a more exciting picture while once again lamenting how Ayer’s movie turned out.
“I thought the first 40 minutes of [Suicide Squad] was f*cking great, and then there were conflicting visions and it just didn’t end up being what we all hoped it was. It didn’t feel like the movie that we hoped we were going to make, and this is something very different. It’s just a different universe. It’s a James Gunn universe. It’s a very hilarious and depraved place.”
We’re just a couple of months away from The Suicide Squad premiering in theaters and on HBO Max, and if it comes anywhere close to living up to the levels of hype and expectation that now surround it, then we’re in for something pretty special. Gunn is obviously more than familiar with team-based superhero efforts that balance action with irreverence, and the R-rating is only going to see him double down on the insanity that unfolds on the screen.