It’s squad goals AF as James Gunn is nutting up and definitely not shutting up with The Suicide Squad.
Rising from the ashes of David Ayer’s DCEU debut, the Guardians Of The Galaxy director has now come in and swept up a few fan-favourites for his soft reboot.
Even though Gunn has reunited Suicide Squad highlights including Viola Davis and Margot Robbie, there’s a whole new team of rotten rogues for Amanda Waller to work her way through.
The first reveal of The Suicide Squad was an all-star roll call of Gunn collaborators including Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, and even his brother – Sean Gunn.
With a Hollywood cast that gives even your most mammoth superhero movie a run for its money, it’s easy to see how Gunn can say, “this is by far the biggest movie I’ve ever made.”
But despite The Suicide Squad barreling towards its 2021 release date, we’re still no closer to figuring out who the big bad of this antihero ensemble actually is.
Heading back to Suicide Squad, Cara Delevingne (and her wavy arms) became the de facto villain of the piece.
Ayer has since admitted his plans to give Jared Leto’s Joker a more prominent villain role were nixed, while all references to Steppenwolf and Apokolips were stripped out and rolled over to Justice League.
And when it comes to The Suicide Squad, it could be literally anyone from the jam-packed gallery of DC dropouts who Task Force X is going up against.
Giving Some ‘Lex’ Appeal
There’s the frankly mind-blowing theory we could see the return of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, who played the eccentric billionaire in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and popped by for Justice League’s post-credits scene.
Despite Justice League originally marking the end of the road for the traditional DCEU, a resurgence in love for the franchise has seen a last-minute reprieve for Ben Affleck’s Batman – who’s reportedly signed on for the upcoming Flash movie.
Bringing back the ghosts of the past with Eisenberg’s Luthor would be a neat way to tie things off. Justice League’s post-credits had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke that was supposed to set up the character for an Affleck-led Batman movie.
Many took this to mean Luthor was forming the Injustice League, but what if his search for the worst of the worst saw him cross paths with the Suicide Squad? Added to this CBR pointed out that Gunn has the perfect way to reintroduce Lex.
Even if Idris Elba’s Bloodsport (a.k.a. Robert DuBois) isn’t traditionally associated with the Suicide Squad, his comic book origin was part of a complicated chess match between Superman and Luthor.
DuBois was an unhinged assassin obsessed with the Vietnam War, and was recruited by Luthor to shoot Superman with a Kryptonite bullet.
Just like Ayer’s Suicide Squad fleshed out each of the characters with a resume of their dastardly deeds, DuBois’ story should at least reference Luthor. If not, Lex should return for a more substantial role as the puppet master pulling the strings behind Waller’s back.
Thinking About The Thinker
But who else could be stepping out of the shadows as the ultimate villain that causes Waller to dust off her little black book?
With a who’s who of famous faces playing a variety of nefarious nutcases, the first look at The Suicide Squad didn’t emphasise anyone in particular as the main villain.
So going purely off general speculation – and his creepy looks – Peter Capaldi’s The Thinker might be the evil genius behind the next mission. Although The Thinker was part of the general roll call, he was one of the ones that was notably sidelined.
And Capaldi’s version isn’t the first time we’ve seen The Thinker’s nefarious schemes in live-action. An underwhelming version of the character appeared in The Flash, and although he was hyped as a major villain, it fell dramatically short of living up to that.
Bane Or King Kobra
An altogether more interesting set of villains were pointed out by Digital Spy. Set photos from The Suicide Squad showed off a flag that alluded to either Santa Prisca or Corto Maltese.
Both are famous DC locations, with Santa Prisca conveniently being the homeland of Batman rogue Bane, who would be an amazing villain to take on the Squad.
Early rumours suggested the man who broke the Bat was going to be in Gunn’s movie, with Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Dave Bautista tipped to flex his muscles as the masked menace.
Bautista spoke on how he’d always wanted to play Bane, however, scheduling conflicts claimed he couldn’t be part of the movie. That could’ve somehow changed though, but it would be a stretch.
But if the flag is Corto Maltese, the fictional island might cue up King Kobra and his Cult Of The Cobra God as the main baddies.
King Kobra has gone against the Squad on several occasions, and also fits the kind of out-there villain we’d expect from a Gunn movie.
The Suicide Squad has been described as a “gritty 1970’s war movie,” meaning King Kobra and his snake-themed army of goons would easily fit that brief as they tear through the weird and wacky members of Task Force X.
A Return For The Joker?
Finally, is it really too late to salvage Leto’s Joker? Despite the character’s divisive reception, it’s important to remember there were a lot of fans who loved Leto’s take on the Clown Prince Of Crime.
Birds Of Prey managed to skirt around Joker and Harley with the pair heading to splitsville, but given their unhinged relationship and Harley’s obsession with Mr. J, it’s an easy move to give Leto one more chance.
Given that Ayer wanted to make Joker more of a villainous presence in his movie, there would be a sense of justice if Gunn could right those wrongs. Whoever the team is going up against, here’s hoping it’s not Enchantress again.
Too Many “Crooks” Spoil The Broth
Now that we’ve tried to piece together who the Suicide Squad will face, the all-important question is who will be kicking the bucket before the final credits roll.
Ayer’s movie didn’t quite live up to promise that everyone was expendable, meaning the early departure of Slipknot (who?) was followed by a huge gap until Common’s character (another who?) and Scott Eastwood’s GQ Edwards (a final who?) were other casualties.
The final act saw Enchantress and Diablo meet their makers, but even here, June Moon lived to fight another day and Ayer had originally wanted Diablo to survive.
Thankfully, Joel Kinnaman has already warned “don’t get too attached” with The Suicide Squad. Boasting such a large ensemble, we’re expecting some catastrophic losses.
When it comes to who’ll be shuffling off first, let’s look at the characters who didn’t get too much attention in the marketing campaign.
We’re placing bets on Alice Braga’s Sol Soria and Pete Davidson’s Blackguard having minor roles. In particular, Davidson’s comedic edge lends for some sort of unexpected but hilarious demise for Blackguard.
Flula Borg’s Javelin and Mayling Ng’s Mongal were also on the periphery of the marketing campaign, meanwhile no one really knows what’s going on with the inclusion of Sean Gunn’s Weasel.
Apart from the fact it’s a dramatic departure from the comics and a man who disguised himself as a weasel to commit crime of course.
Elsewhere, even if Fillion is a favourite actor of Gunn’s, it could be a short cameo and an early grave for this new creation called TDK.
The same goes for Michael Rooker’s Savant. Even if Guardians fans would love to see more from the star, Gunn could be planning another heartbreaking Yondu-inspired sendoff.
With so much potential blood being spilled, Gunn will have to really hit the ground running. Picture the scene where he takes a leaf out of the original Mission: Impossible’s book and kills off a whole team of agents without batting an eyelid. This would also be a way to really set the ball rolling for the rest of the movie.
Imagine Waller sending a team of old and new recruits out on assignment, only for it to go horribly wrong and there being a smorgasbord of character deaths.
It would then be up to the surviving members and more newcomers (King Shark, Peacemaker, Ratcatcher 2, etc.) to pick up the pieces and go on their own vengeful vendetta.
Assuming this is the route Gunn takes, it also sets the scene for the loss of an OG Suicide Squad member. It’s pretty likely Harley is going to make it to the end once again, but waving goodbye to Kinnaman’s Rick Flag or Jai Courteney’s Captain Boomerang would be a nice shocker to start things off.
Whatever Gunn is planning, it’s clear The Suicide Sqaud is Guardians Of The Galaxy on steroids.
With everyone hopefully learning from the mistakes of Ayer’s movie, but also expanding on what fans loved, The Suicide Squad has the potential to rival those huge team movies that made the MCU the world’s highest-grossing franchise.
One thing’s for sure though, it’s a million miles away from the dark and gloomy days of the Snyder-Verse that kick-started the DCEU.
And considering viewers have already been warned to expect the unexpected, we’re probably completely off the mark here. Either way, prepare for some head-popping madness!
The Suicide Squad is due for release 6th August 2021. You can shop our full range of DC Comics merchandise here.