Killer Croc, the flesh-eating reptilian Batman villain, will be making his big screen debut in Suicide Squad, played by actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost). In the comics, Croc, also known as Waylon Jones, was born with a grotesque birth defect causing him to have hardened, scaly skin from having a reptilian genetic mutation. While he might be one of the uglier villains in Batman’s Rogues Gallery, he does have superhuman abilities like extreme strength, impenetrable skin, a strong sense of smell that allows him to track down humans, and the ability to hold his breath underwater. Basically, his natural instinct is to act like a crocodile. Croc’s biggest downfall is that he’s not very smart. Considering how much he was picked on as a kid, it’s no surprise that he grew up to be an angry, cannibalistic serial killer.
Killer Croc is joining quite the cast of misfit baddies in the upcoming Suicide Squad film, directed and written by David Ayer. The Suicide Squad, is an antihero “strike team” of incarcerated, death row supervillains including Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as Joker, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, and finally Christopher Weiss as Slipknot. In the film, government official Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis, sends the squad on an impossible covert black ops mission in exchange for lesser prison sentences, however they meet up with an unknown threat along the way.
We learn more about Killer Croc’s upbringing from a recent interview Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had with IGN:
“We’re not about just making this beast. We’re making a being. He’s somewhat tortured and abused from his childhood. It dictates his reactions, from him wanting to go underground. He’s always been ostracized and ridiculed for how he looks. What he’s done is embrace that. Instead of saying ‘I’m ugly’, he’s says ‘I’m beautiful’. Instead of going underground as if he’s hiding, he says ‘this is my kingdom’. He’s kind of reversed some of his childhood abuse into allowing him to become what he is, which is really the next threat to take over Gotham. That’s really what his ultimate goal is. One of the reasons is probably because obviously power, respect but people liking him. And if you don’t, you’re going to have to if he’s got power. So all of those elements play into it.”
Akinnuoye-Agbaje went on to explain how Suicide Squad will also show us the softer, creative side of Croc:
“I think it’s pretty much how he expresses himself. He’s very primal, carnal. He’s a creature. And those felines, those are his brethren. And so, if he’s making sculptures that reflect that, it may be a pet that he may have had when he was a child. Things like that. He’s very creative. Again, another aspect that you’re going to see to him, just when you think you’ve got him pegged, he does something very surprising and makes these beautiful sculpted pieces. It’s a testament to the gentle, creative side of him. David [Ayer, the director] is very much about bringing that out and juxtaposing it with the visceral, viscous, barbaric creature that he has to be when he needs to be.”
And if you’re wondering what Akinnuoye-Agbaje did to prepare for Killer Croc’s live-action debut, he studied crocodile behavior:
“I studied a lot of video on how they kill. I was very intent on bringing the characteristics of a crocodile to him. … Even the way I walk, I walk like I’m moving through water. So he has this sinuous twist. When I was studying and training in the mirror, I did various walks but the minute I did that the whole prosthetic came alive and took another dimension. It was very creepy, but it was very, very animalistic. So we have this kind of sinuous walk like he’s walking through water even when he’s walking on ground. All of this came from watching them, studying them.”
It seems like Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje did his homework in hopes of giving fans the perfect version of Killer Croc. Although he was brutally abused as a child, Croc found a way to turn those destructive memories around with positivity and apparently sculpting cat statues. His suffering as a child was a painful experience, eventually turning in to feelings of rage, making his origin story the heart of the character. It’s refreshing to hear that Croc isn’t just a vicious, mindless killer and that we will most likely see more depth of character than expected. In short, Killer Croc has feelings too.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman is slated for release on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash is currently without a release date.