Even before Suicide Squad was released last summer, it was clear Warner Bros. had big plans for the villainous part of its DC Extended Universe. Suicide Squad 2 was first announced in March, then a few months before the movie hit, the studio announced it was developing a Harley Quinn movie, as well as looking into spinoffs for any and all of Task Force X.
Of course, this all came when a knock-out advertising campaign made the film look like it was going to be a home run. When August finally came around, the film didn’t land quite as well as expected; it was still a box office success, earning $750 million worldwide, but was not such a hit with critics, scoring only 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps because of this divisive response, since the movie’s release there’s not been much to advance that sequel talk beyond actors talking hypothetically, although recent word suggests things are still working away behind the scenes.
A new report from THR, which also announced David Ayer will direct a Gotham City Sirens movie, has stated that Suicide Squad 2 is still in development, along with a spinoff featuring Will Smith’s Deadshot.
The report doesn’t say how far into development either movie is, although presumably the straight-up sequel is further along due to having been on the table longer. That said, with Ayer and Margot Robbie now involved with Gotham City Sirens, the film may be in need of a new director. This may be the reason why we’ve not heard much on a follow-up. And with Smith potentially lined up for a Deadshot film, a sequel could be dealing with some serious logistics that need sorting out.
As for the Deadshot film, as a concept it makes a lot of sense. Will Smith was a highlight of Suicide Squad for many, the most rounded character of Task Force X and the closest thing the ensemble piece had to a proper lead, so having him lead the way into standalones (alongside Harley in a new team-up film) is a smart move. That this version is more of a conflicted anti-hero over full-on bad guy may limit how close to the source character the movie can be, but if he’s going to be a blockbuster lead some modifications would need to be made anyway.
What this news — coupled with the Sirens greenlight — also means is that almost half of the DCEU’s prospective projects involve villains in a primary role, perhaps pointing towards a unique corner of the superhero market Warners wants to corner. With the rogues’ gallery of Batman and Superman (and others) to play with, they’re definitely not hurting for choices.