Suicide Squad may have got the worst critical attention of any of the DC Extended Universe films so far, but it was still incredibly successful; it made $745 million worldwide, more than superhero big hitters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man, showing there’s real appeal in the supervillain team-up. Since then, this sub-franchise looks to be growing; original director David Ayer is taking on Gotham City Sirens and there have been talks of all manner of spinoffs.

When it comes to a straight Suicide Squad 2, things took a big turn last night when it was revealed that Warner Bros. are currently courting directors for the project. The biggest name by a blood-soaked battlefield was Mel Gibson, which got everybody talking, although his wasn’t the only name linked: Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) are also reportedly on the shortlist. While the latter two may sound like more conventional picks, don’t expect them to be trying to control Jared Leto’s Joker anytime soon though.

Elaborating on the rumors, Variety film reporter Justin Kroll revealed on Twitter that the project is Gibson’s to lose, with him the studio’s firm first pick.

Mel Gibson is a controversial figure in Hollywood after his infamous anti-Semitic remarks following being arrested for drunk driving in 2006 and has essentially been a persona non grata in the film industry since. That’s turned around somewhat with Hacksaw Ridge; his account of pacifist soldier Desmond Doss has been an all round smash hit, becoming one of the biggest recent war movies at the box office and garnering six Oscar nominations, crucially including Best Director for Gibson himself. Previous remarks still hang over him, but in many people’s eyes the actor-director is the closest he’s been to his early Mad Max/Lethal Weapon/Braveheart reputation.

With Hacksaw in mind, it’s easy to see why Warner Bros. would want to consider him. The film’s standout element was its extended battle scene which boasted a viscerality not seen in a mainstream movie since Saving Private Ryan. That, coupled with the way it delicately seeds tricky religious elements and has initially unlikeable characters become affectionate heroes, are qualities that can elevate a Suicide Squad sequel.

Regardless of his seeming redemption, Gibson even being in the discussion is going to be a contentious choice. However, with the DCEU needing to mark itself out from the pack, getting an unequivocally talented filmmaker on board (one who recently called out the action of rival Marvel) can only help the quality of the franchise. This story continues to develop, so stay tuned for more Suicide Squad 2 updates.

Source: Justin Kroll

More: How Directing Suicide Squad 2 Could Redeem Mel Gibson