Warner Bros. has tapped Gavin O’Connor to write and direct Suicide Squad 2, the sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 DC Extended Universe film. The studio officially launched their DC Comics-based cinematic universe last spring with the premiere of Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which introduced a host of superheroes in a loose followup to Man of Steel. Later on in 2016, Warner Bros. released the villain-focused team-up, Suicide Squad, which introduced fan-favorite baddies such as Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and the Joker (Jared Leto).
Although neither Batman V Superman nor Suicide Squad were well received by critics – and both were divisive among moviegoers – each film was financially successful. As such, a sequel to Suicide Squad has been in development as part of Warner Bros’ future DCEU slate, though it was unclear when the followup would eventually arrive. Amidst news of other DCEU projects in development, it was reported that Warner Bros. is looking to fast-track Suicide Squad 2, and seemingly confirming that report is the latest news that the studio has tapped a writer/director for the sequel.
Variety is reporting Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant, Warrior) is officially on board to write Suicide Squad 2, with an eye for him to direct the sequel as well. Additionally, Variety reports Warner Bros. is hoping the film will begin production by the end of 2017. Previously, it was thought that Suicide Squad 2 wouldn’t start production until 2018, but if they begin this year, the film could potentially be ready for a 2019/2020 release date.
The director search for Suicide Squad 2 has been ongoing for some time, with Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows), Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), and Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) being mentioned as potential helmers. In fact, it seemed Collet-Serra was the frontrunner to direct Suicide Squad 2, before passing on the opportunity to take on Jungle Cruise. However, O’Connor was also in the mix, and though he’s additionally working on a sequel to The Accountant with the film’s star, Affleck, it looks like he’ll be scripting and directing the Suicide Squad sequel.
There’s been some confusion about the DCEU’s upcoming slate recently, since it was announced Warner Bros. is developing a Joker origin movie separate from their main DC Comics universe. Plus, the studio is developing a movie focused on Harley Quinn and Joker, with some reports muddying the water of that film by claiming it would replace Gotham City Sirens – but it won’t. Now, some of that confusion has been cleared up, with Warner Bros. planning to fast-track Suicide Squad 2 before its Harley and Joker movie; Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens is still in the works but seems to be less of a priority.
Of course, the question now seems to be whether Suicide Squad 2 can improve upon the foundation laid by Ayer’s original villain team-up. Suicide Squad reportedly had a troubled production that could have led to many of the criticisms from viewers. It remains to be seen if Warner Bros. and O’Connor can produce a sequel that surpasses the original. Given the director’s experience with action films, though, it seems likely O’Connor can create an exciting Suicide Squad sequel.
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