The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra is reportedly the frontrunner to helm Suicide Squad 2 as part of Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe. The studio officially launched the DCEU last spring with the premiere of Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – a follow-up to the director’s Man of Steel – while David Ayer’s Suicide Squad fleshed out the cinematic universe later in 2016. While Batman V Superman introduced the Justice League heroes to the DCEU, Suicide Squad debuted a host of villains, including Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.

Although Suicide Squad wasn’t well received among critics, and the reaction among casual moviegoing audiences was decidedly mixed, the film performed well at the box office, earning a total of $745.6 million worldwide. As a result, Warner Bros. began developing a Suicide Squad sequel, though Ayer won’t be returning to direct – likely because he’s working on a different DCEU film, Gotham City Sirens, which will star Robbie. Still, Warner Bros has been searching for someone to direct Suicide Squad 2, and the studio may have found their frontrunner.

Related: Suicide Squad 2 Recruits Legend of Tarzan Writer

Deadline is reporting that Jaume Collet-Serra is Warner Bros’ top choice to direct Suicide Squad 2. Collet-Serra is well known for his horror films, including 2005’s House of Wax, 2009’s Orphan, and most recently the 2016 shark-focused horror/thriller The Shallows. The helmer also has a few action films under his belt, such as 2011’s Unknown, 2014’s Non-Stop, and 2015’s Run All Night (all of which starred Liam Neeson).

Jaume Collet Serra Directing The Shallows The Shallows Director Frontrunner To Helm Suicide Squad 2

Of course, this isn’t the first time the director’s name has been tied to Warner Bros’ DCEU villain-focused sequel since it was reported earlier this year that the studio was considering Collet-Serra for Suicide Squad 2. Other names in the mix included Mel Gibson (The Passion of the Christ), Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies). Though it seemed Gibson was Warner Bros’ top choice to direct, the filmmaker reportedly passed on the project. According to THR, Gibson moved on following script delays, though a new Suicide Squad 2 script is now being written.

As for Collet-Serra’s involvement, he hasn’t officially signed on to direct just yet. With Warner Bros. aiming for Suicide Squad 2 to start filming in 2018, Collet-Serra may have a scheduling conflict with the TV drama Waco he’s set to helm. Still, if the studio can manage to strike a deal with Collet-Serra in the next week, Warner Bros. may officially announce his involvement in Suicide Squad 2 during their panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Justice League and Aquaman are the next two films on Warner Bros’ superhero slate, and it’s unclear if the studio’s previously announced Shazam, Cyborg, and Green Lantern Corps films will remain in their current release 2019/2020 dates. So, with Warner Bros. seemingly narrowing down their search on a director for Suicide Squad 2, it’s possible the studio is close to announcing their post-Aquaman slate. And there’s no better stage on which to make that annoucement than San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H.

Next: WB is Bringing Justice League & Aquaman to Comic-Con

Source: Deadline, THR

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