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David Ayer and Will Smith to return for Suicide Squad sequel

Reports of the death of the Suicide Squad have been greatly exaggerated.

Sure, it may have seemed like the title brought with it some measure of finality, but this is modern-day Hollywood we’re talking about — a sequel is never off the table. According to Variety, Will Smith (Deadshot) and director David Ayer will work together on the upcoming Bright, but the production is being scheduled so that the pair will be freed up to shoot Suicide Squad 2.

This film was likely always intended to spawn a franchise, so the news shouldn’t come as a total shock, but the ride to its release has, at times, been very rocky. There was outrage over the Joker’s tattooed appearance, head-scratching over some underwhelming art, an on-set therapist, and even a hipster-themed parody trailer from Nerdist that played on fans’ worst fears about the film.

Related: Move over Batman V. Superman, the new Suicide Squad trailer has arrived

All that said, the trailers that have been released thus far seem to have assuaged fans’ anxiety a bit, and execs seem confident enough to forge ahead, despite the initial flurry of negative PR.

The sequel is set to shoot sometime in 2017 but — aside from Smith and Ayer — it’s unclear if anyone else will return. While the “suicide” portion of the title has proved a misnomer, it also wouldn’t be much of a “squad” if no one returned to star alongside Smith.

Apparently, the cast got pretty chummy during production and even got matching tattoos to show solidarity. Sounds like a recipe for a reunion to us.

We’ll keep you updated as news breaks but, in the meantime, the first Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters on August 5, 2016. The film stars Jared Leto (the Joker), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), and Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), among others.