James Gunn in talks to direct Suicide Squad 2, give franchise his own spin

It didn’t take long for James Gunn to find a new, comics-inspired film to bring to the screen. The Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker is reportedly in talks to direct a reimagining of the 2016 film Suicide Squad.

Gunn is currently in negotiations to helm the The Suicide Squad, which is now scheduled to hit theaters August 6, 2021 — here’s everything else we know so far. He was already working on the Suicide Squad sequel as the project’s screenwriter, and if talks progress as expected, this will be his first directorial feature since 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The Suicide Squad isn’t expected to be a direct sequel to its 2016 predecessor, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and will instead serve as a soft relaunch of the franchise under Gunn’s direction. He’s expected to “take the franchise in a new direction” and bring in a “mostly all-new cast of characters and actors.”

Gunn was terminated from his contract with Marvel in July 2018 due to a campaign initiated by alt-right pundits who unearthed offensive messages he posted on Twitter nearly a decade earlier (and had previously apologized for). Disney and Marvel quickly made the controversial decision to end their professional relationship with Gunn despite his public apology, only to have the entire cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy films — as well as many other prominent actors and filmmakers — voice their support for him. What will happen to Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

Several months later, WB brought in Gunn to work on the script for the sequel to Suicide Squad — initially titled Suicide Squad 2 — and bring his trademark blend of comedy and action to the project.

DC Comics’ Suicide Squad has traditionally followed a group of villains who are given a chance at freedom if they are able to pull off a seemingly impossible mission for a secret government agency. The 2016 film featured the DC characters Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Joker, Captain Boomerang, Diablo, Enchantress, Katana, Rick Flagg, Slipknot, and Killer Croc, with Will Smith and Margot Robbie portraying Deadshot and Harley Quinn, respectively. The film also introduced Jared Leto as the new Joker.

It’s unknown which, if any, characters will return from the 2016 film. Robbie recently reprised her role as Harley Quinn in the first teaser for the upcoming Birds of Prey movie, which will follow a group of female DC Comics characters.

Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder will serve as executive producers on The Suicide Squad.

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