When announcing their intentions to create a cinematic universe based on DC Comics, Warner Bros. promoted themselves as being a director-driven studio. Throughout the DCEU’s run so far, Zack Snyder has been the primary man in charge with his third film on the way, while David Ayer, Patty Jenkins, James Wan, and now Matt Reeves have or will be making installments in the universe. This only covers a handful of projects, however, as DC has many future films in mind. One of these is a follow-up to the box office hit, but critically disliked Suicide Squad.
Earlier today, a report came out that WB is in early discussions with Mel Gibson to direct Suicide Squad 2. Included in this report was word that Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) is also being considered for the gig, but in an unsurprising turn of events, WB is considering a handful of other names as well.
Variety is reporting that WB has also approached Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) for the gig. Fleischer has established a great balance of fun and action that could be perfect for tackling the Suicide Squad next. Levine meanwhile was in contention for the directing job on Spider-Man: Homecoming as well, so it is not surprising to see his name again attached to a superhero movie.
This report went on to say that more names could be added eventually to WB’s shortlist, and at this time there are no front runners among the group. Gibson is riding high off a Best Director Oscar nomination, while Espinosa’s chances could depend on how well Life does later this year – depending on how long this search is stretched out for. As for the two newer names, both Levine and Fleischer would be intriguing picks if WB offered it to either.
There is no release date at this point for Suicide Squad 2, and initially it was thought that Ayer would return – but he is now doing Gotham City Sirens instead. If WB is moving quickly to find a director, it could indicate that the movie is further along in development than previously thought. Should the project get a director in the coming months, the sequel could be on a similar production schedule as The Batman, possibly indicating a 2019 release.
Regardless of which director comes aboard the project, it will be interesting to see what changes in style, tone, and team members take place. The first trailers for Suicide Squad sold everyone on a darker, street-level Task Force X story, but the film ultimately became much more upbeat, bright, and filled with music. With Harley Quinn escaping Belle Reve to set up her solo film as El Diablo and Slipknot were tossed aside, Amanda Waller will need to replenish her team. Thankfully, the DC lore has many options for them to explore, but the director should play a big role in choosing who joins, which could vary greatly depending on which director is chosen.