This year sees the release of many superhero movies, but there’s only one supervillain movie: Suicide Squad. Sure, the marketing has labeled them the ‘Worst. Heroes. Ever‘, but make no mistake, they’re bad guys. And perhaps that’s the big appeal of Suicide Squad. While 2016’s superheroes are busy fighting each other, it’s the villains who are teaming up to save the day. After all, with so many worried audiences have begun to tire of superhero movies, what’s a better pick-me-up than a movie where a team of bad guys are sent on a mission they aren’t guaranteed to survive?
But Suicide Squad isn’t just counter programming to this year’s slew of superhero fare, it’s also the next installment in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe. And though Batman V Superman earned decidedly mixed reactions, there’s every chance Suicide Squad could still be a critical and box office hit. For one, this film was overseen by writer/director David Ayer, a very different filmmaker than BvS and Justice League‘s Zack Snyder. Suicide Squad also features several lesser known characters, meaning most viewers won’t come to the film with preconceived notions of who these villains are and how they should act.
It’s that last point which had El Diablo actor Jay Hernandez most excited to work on Suicide Squad. “As a lesser known member of the squad, there wasn’t as much anticipation and there wasn’t people saying, “You’re veering off doctrine,’” Hernandez shares in recent interview with Coming Soon. “There’s a certain level of freedom that I thought was great.”
Hernandez goes on to explain why he believes, “Suicide Squad is the next step,” for comic book movies, continuing with:
“Everything starts somewhere and is going to end somewhere. I think this is that next step in the evolution of super hero movies… [There are] characters from the other movies that have come in onto our project. It’s interesting because, as a filmmaker and as a writer, you have to make it make sense. You have to find some way to infuse characters that aren’t really part of the narrative, but still have it make sense and have it not just be this weird piece where you’re setting up the other movie. It’s fluid and it has to feel right.”
We were already well aware that Ben Affleck’s Batman would appear in Suicide Squad, but Hernandez mentions “characters,” as in plural. So either he misspoke, was misquoted, or he’s implying other characters from the DCEU appear in Suicide Squad. Not to suggest another hero like Superman or Wonder Woman is involved and plays some pivotal role, but it does sound as if it’ll be apparent Suicide Squad is tied to the wider DCEU, possibly even introducing characters who’ll have roles to play later on.
It’s also telling that Hernendez talks about including these characters in a way that “makes sense,” so as to avoid having some “weird scene” that’s only purpose is setting up the next movie. That was a complaint leveled at Batman V Superman, and hearing Suicide Squad has taken care to avoid the same only strengthens the argument for WB’s filmmaker-driven universe. Just because one filmmaker handled the world-building (or any element, for that matter) in one way, doesn’t mean the same applies for the entirety of the DCEU.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020.