Warner Bros. has made some interesting choices when it comes to the directors brought on to helm its still burgeoning DC Extended Universe. Some of the choices have been contentious, as director Zack Snyder’s early efforts were met with divisive results. The same could be said for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, which despite being a box office hit was met with a similar critical response as Snyder’s Batman V Superman. While Snyder is returning with Justice League next year, and Ayer is set to helm Gotham City Sirens, the studio has brought on a more eclectic bunch with Patty Jenkins and James Wan, to helm Wonder Woman and Aquaman, respectively.
As far as choices for directors go, Jenkins and Wan come with impressive resumes and little in the way of controversy. If a new report is correct, then the director Warner Bros. is currently courting to take on directorial duties for Suicide Squad 2 will come with an even more impressive resume and more contentious history to boot.
As reported by THR, Warner Bros. is seeking Academy Award-winner Mel Gibson to help bring the next adventure of Task Force X to life. According to the report, Gibson is currently getting acquainted with the material. The studio, on the other hand, is apparently moving quickly, and has other potential directors lined up as well, including Life director Daniel Espinosa (for those shocked by the news, you might want to read our look at how Suicide Squad 2 could redeem both director and film).
The move to court Gibson isn’t too surprising given his accomplishments as a filmmaker and the recognition — both good and bad — that comes along with his name. An Academy Award winner for Braveheart, he found extraordinary financial success with The Passion of the Christ, and his dark, violent Mayan film Apocalypto was met with a mostly positive critical response. But perhaps it’s his recent Academy Award nomination for the WWII film Hacksaw Ridge that made it feasible for his name to make it on Warner’s short list of directors.
Though he has continued to act, appearing in The Expendables 3, Machete Kills, and, more recently, Blood Father, the public nature of Gibson’s personal drama has largely kept him out of the spotlight and the studio system for several years. But this awards season seems to have opened up a new chapter for him both in front of and behind the camera. In addition to being sought for Suicide Squad 2, Gibson is set to join Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, and fellow newcomer John Lithgow in the sequel to Daddy’s Home.
More surprising than Warner Bros. talking with Gibson to direct, though, may be that he even has an interest in working on the project. Gibson didn’t mince words when offering his opinion of Batman V Superman, and even criticized superhero movies in general, both for their exorbitant budgets and for the way in which they portray violence. Still, even when offering a mostly negative evaluation of comic book films, he did leave the door open, saying to Variety, “I look at them and scratch my head. I’m really baffled by it. I think there’s a lot of waste, but maybe if I did one of those things with the green screens I’d find out different. It seems to me that you could do it for less…”
If that’s the case, then perhaps Warners is interested in Gibson to see if he can bring in Suicide Squad 2 with a greatly reduced budget.