James Gunn Brings Nathan Fillion To ‘The Suicide Squad’; Is His Clout Back? 

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BY August 31, 2019

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has begun its casting. Many of the lead characters have already been finalized. A latest exclusive from Deadline suggests that Nathan Fillion will be joining the soft reboot as well.

 Nathan Fillion: Professional Nice Guy Actor

From his Instagram, Nathan Fillion may seem like just a nice, funny and silly guy. He’s always engaging with fans, leaving them trinkets on his many visits to cities all over the world. And the actor is extremely well-liked. It’s no wonder that in a world of unstable Network television deals, Fillion has sustained himself for over 20 years.  

One of the  actor’s first major breaks was actually with fellow Canadian star Ryan Reynolds on the ABC sitcom, Two Guys And A Girl. Since then, Fillion has gone on to star in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, Firefly, Castle, and most recently, The Rookie. Fillion also has cult hits like Serenity and voice roles such as Green Lantern for various films and TV shows within the DC Animated Universe under his belt. Fillion is so popular that he has become part of the mainstream geek culture. So it’s no surprise that the actor has joined a live-action DC Comics property. Especially given his existing relationship with Warner Bros.

An image from 'The Rookie.' Image via ABC

Even less surprising, given his best-friendship with director James Gunn.  

Keeping Good Company In A Cut Throat Industry 

 James Gunn and Nathan Fillion are admittedly best friends. Gunn has often worked with Fillion in many different capacities. Fillion appeared as the voice of a bullying inmate in Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. He also showed up on Gunn’s other, less mainstream films like Slither and Super. Fillion even had a role within Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2, notably as a major Marvel Comics character, Wonder Man. The plans didn’t fully materialize with the scene being ultimately cut from the final release.  

But it looks like the director will be returning to work with his best friend in his reboot of the DCEU film, The Suicide Squad. And given the tumultuous year that Gunn has had, being able to bring in his friend may be a sign of the return of his clout in the industry as well.  

James Gunn’s Roller Coaster Ride Between Comic Properties 

Just last year in 2018, Gunn was unceremoniously fired from working on Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3. (GOTG: Vol. 3) for Marvel Studios. The justification behind this was  years-old inappropriate tweets by Gunn. The usual social media savvy writer-director went on total media silence in reaction. It wasn’t until his hiring by Warner Bros. to direct The Suicide Squad, that Gunn resurfaced. Shortly after, Disney re-hired Gunn back onto GOTG Vol 3. James Gunn has now returned to his old ways on social media by engaging fans, sharing support and opinions and providing looks into his process.  

Most recently, Gunn pointed out a scam by an unscrupulous casting company. Gunn posted on his Instagram how a fake ad was being circulated, claiming to provide the opportunity to be cast in a role within the Suicide Squad. No doubt Gunn saved many eager actors and fans from falling prey to this type of deceptions.  

 Switching Sides 

Despite his new relationship with DC Comics and WB, Gunn’s allegiance to Marvel is not at all in question. Being part of the same brotherhood of Marvel Studios directors has even resulted in other casting news. Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Ragnarok and the upcoming Thor: Love And Thunder, will be joining Fillion as a cast member on The Suicide Squad. This loyalty to Disney extends beyond Gunn’s projects as well.  

Most recently, in a response on his Instagram feed, Gunn addressed the split between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, over the shared deal involving Spider-Man. Gunn clarified that the two major studios are working it out. Given Gunn’s current simultaneous working relationship with, what was at one time two rival comic book companies, he is somewhat of an expert on being in the middle.  

Will Nathan Fillion Be A Member Of Gunn’s Squad 

 With casting his friend in his latest project, this could be a sign that Gunn has finally returned to the same standing in the industry he shared before his Disney firing. While Fillion’s role is still a huge secret for the time being, I hope for one that this isn’t indicative of yet another cameo or voice role. I would love to see Fillion in a full-fledged role among the huge ensemble cast of The Suicide Squad. The diverse cast includes actors such as Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and many other lesser-known newcomers.  

An image of James Gunn. Image via Marvel

So Fillion’s addition, as a television star, and a massive fan favorite, will only serve to enhance The Suicide Squad.  

Are you looking forward to Nathan Fillion in The Suicide Squad? Let us know in 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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