James Gunn's Cast Of 'The Suicide Squad' Is A Lot To Unpack
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James Gunn Confirms Full Cast for DC’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Cast

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BY March 9, 2021

The auteur that is writer/director James Gunn has finally released the full cast of his next project, The Suicide Squad. With many fresh faces, as well as familiar names, the confirmation of the The Suicide Squad Cast puts to rest a lot of rumors and speculations. 

The turbulent year for James Gunn is coming to an end. The director took a scrappy property like Marvel Comics’ Guardians Of the Galaxy (GOTG) and made it one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s staples. Gunn now seeks to recreate the same magic with a group of ragtag scoundrels for DC Comics’ Suicide Squad. 

What Happened With Suicide Squad?

Suicide Squad became its own movie in 2016 directed by David Ayer. The film combined many big names, along with smaller names, to create the titular anti-superhero group. Consisting of criminals, both superpowered and regular, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) formed the group to save the world. The point of using criminals was so they could control and exploit them, seeing that they were completely expendable. But the group had other plans. 

The movie was a box office success but failed critically. The Suicide Squad might be a sort-of sequel, as well as a soft reboot. Speculation is that Gunn will use what worked from the first film, discard what didn’t, and put his own spin on it. The cast list that he announced on his social media platform seems to somewhat confirm this. 

The Survivors of the Last Mission – ‘The Suicide Squad’

Posted on his Twitter page, the Suicide Squad cast image showcases 24 different names and is a lot to unpack. But there are some interesting mentions here that need a second look. Firstly, Will Smith is not part of the new cast. Smith, considered the biggest star of the first film, is not part of the Gunn version due to scheduling conflicts. Which is most often Hollywood code for ‘Nope!’. 

An image of Will Smith and Margot Robbie in 'Suicide Squad'. Image via Warner Bros.

But there were stars in Suicide Squad. The break-out star from the first film, Margot Robbie is prominently returning, as the image confirms. Robbie’s Harley Quinn was the first live-action adaptation of the character and has been wildly appreciated. So much so that she’s even heading a spin-off from Suicide Squad, confusingly titled Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn. 

Davis and Kinnaman also seem to be returning to reprise their roles from the first film. As is Jai Courtney, who portrayed Captain Boomerang. 

Meet the New Cast

Where things get super interesting are the new names on the cast for The Suicide Squad. Idris Elba looks to replace the star-slot left by Smith. Initial reports said that he was re-cast in the same role as Smith, but new reports from Variety state otherwise. Elba will supposedly play a new character altogether. 

The most interesting new squad members are Taika Waititi, (director of Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit) Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy). Rooker is one of Gunn’s best friends and Sean Gunn is his brother. Both have worked with James Gunn on the GOTG films, and they seem to be carrying over here. Incidentally, all of these new guys, Elba, Waititi, Rooker, and Gunn are Marvel Studios veterans who seem to be crossing the aisle over for a DC movie. 

Then There’s the Other Guys

Like I said, 24 names is a lot to unpack. As Comic Years previously reported, another of Gunn’s friends, Nathan Fillion will also be in the new Suicide Squad movie. Joining Fillion is WWE Wrestler John Cena, (Bumblebee) comedian Pete Davidson, Storm Reid (Euphoria), Gunn’s girlfriend Jennifer Holland (Brightburn), and a host of other newcomers. 

An image of John Cena speaking at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Bumblebee", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. John Cena at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Bumblebee”. | Image via Gage Skidmore

The placement of the names on the released image seems to say a lot. Elba, Davis, Robbie and Rooker’s names appear on the bottom, closest to the film’s title. With the main three being the ‘stars’ of the film, is the ascending order of the names based on importance? 

James Gunn’s Warning on Social Media

In the social media caption accompanying the cast names, Gunn’s warns fans not to ‘get too attached’. Clearly, many of these characters will not make to the end of the movie. As I mentioned in the Nathan Fillion piece, he and others could have limited impact in the movie. 

Similar to Fillion in GOTG Vol. 1, many of these names could be throwaway characters there as a cameo, or voice actors to a CGI character. Or maybe Gunn will immediately kill off the veterans from the first film, like Kinnaman and Courtney, to establish The Suicide Squad as a different thing.

We will all find out when The Suicide Squad releases in August 2021. 

What do you think about this massive case for the new movie? Let us know win the comments below. 

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.


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