A mere three years after 2016’s Suicide Squad left critics cold but generated an enormous windfall of $746 million at the worldwide box office, DC is already starting over from scratch. In what is perhaps the clearest indication yet that we need some kind of clear “reboot statute of limitations,” producer Peter Safran just described the follow-up to Suicide Squad as being a “total reboot,” and told fans not to use the name Suicide Squad 2. Apparently, the working title is now The Suicide Squad. Lord, help us.
“First of all, we don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 ‘cause it’s a total reboot, so it’s The Suicide Squad and I think people should be extremely excited about it,” Safran said in an interview. “It’s everything you would hope from a James Gunn script and I think that says a lot and that promises a lot and I know that we will deliver a lot.”
Safran of course refers to the fact that James Gunn, formerly of MCU fame, is directing this Suicide Squad movie, regardless of what the final title ends up being. Conceptually, he’s an obvious fit the for position, given that his original work on Guardians of the Galaxy was able to transform a group of B-tier Marvel heroes into one of the MCU’s most cherished pieces of IP. DC surely hopes he can do the same, starting with a bunch of new, B-tier DC players. The only returning character we know of is Deadshot, played in Suicide Squad by Will Smith, but here recast as Idris Elba. Things are potentially complicated, though, by the extremely unlikely news from last week that Gunn has been rehired by Disney to once again direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Safran, however, states that Gunn doesn’t particularly believe in the DC vs. Marvel film rivalry.
“You know what I love about James directing for both Marvel and DC is he has always espoused the view that that which unites comic book and superhero lovers is much greater than that which divides us,” Safran said. “Because, there’s always been this Marvel/DC rivalry, which he has said, and I agree, is absurd. There’s room for everybody and certainly that which unites us all is far greater than that which divides us, so hopefully they’ll see that you can be both a Marvel and a DC fan and the world won’t spin off its axis.”
Of course, it’s easy to say that when you’re from the DCEU, and you’re essentially chucking everything from Man of Steel through Justice League and Suicide Squad into the trash and starting fresh yet again. If it means getting access to some top-tier Marvel filmmakers, you’d have to think DC would jump at the opportunity. As for what will become of their shared universe as they ditch so many of their previous projects, it’s very hard to say. Will there ever be another Justice League-style crossover, or will popular characters such as Wonder Woman and Aqua Man continue to exist on their own?
We’ll have a while before we find out. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is currently slated for an Aug. 2021 release.