Regardless of whether Suicide Squad – the next installment in the DC Extended Universe – is ultimately dubbed a success, failure, or something in-between, it’s fair to say: nobody will be forgetting the stories about the making of this film, anytime soon. Whether it’s costar Jared Leto’s method-acting techniques while playing The Joker or Jai Courtney taking Magic Mushrooms during filming, what went on behind the scenes to bring DC Comics’ “Worst. Heroes. Ever” to the big screen may almost be as interesting as the actual movie.
It’s also been acknowledged in the past that Suicide Squad writer/director David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury) had the film’s cast fight and reveal their inner-most secrets to one another, in order for them to properly bond prior to the start of production. The Suicide Squad cast have now revealed more specific details about what that entailed, as part of the mad dash to the finish line ahead of the film’s impending theatrical release this Friday (at the time of writing this).
Will Smith, who plays Deashot in Suicide Squad, has the following to say about that subject, during a press conference for the film (h/t CBR):
“David Ayer has a very interesting process of getting actors into their characters. Manipulation, domination, torture… [Laughs] So we all got in a room and he had it essentially much more like therapy than it was a character creation. We sat and talked about our lives and we got really close, [shared] our triumphs and tribulations and trials and then at the most opportune moment — Joel [Kinnaman] described it best — [Ayer] would completely betray us [Laughs].”
Ayer, in turn, explained what the method was to this madness, during the same press conference:
“It’s a process, it’s like a gymnasium for acting is the way I look at it. I needed these guys to feel like best friends on camera, and when you’re with your best friend, you share secrets. You talk about your inner life. There’s a way you talk to a really close friend. I wanted them to have that energy, and the fastest way to get there was to have them beat the hell out of each other, share their secrets.”
On that note – you can check out a slick illustrated poster for Suicide Squad (which debuted exclusively on Fandango), below:
The Suicide Squad cast also revealed that Ayer got in on the “fun” himself, even sparring with (and punching in the face) costar Karen Fukuhara; herself, a real-life martial arts expert and the actor who plays the sword-wielding Katana in the film. According to the cast and Ayer, it was costar Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (the actor behind Killer Croc) who got to experience Fukuhara’s fighting abilities in full – with Fukuhara saying (of her own fight with Akinnuoye-Agbaje) “I could go all out because Adewale’s so big and strong. I could just punch away.”
Several of the Suicide Squad cast members suffered injuries too, with both Smith and Joel Kinnaman (who plays Rick Flag) injuring their calves and Margot Robbie (who plays Harley Quinn) getting torn up a bit after a stunt that required her to jump off a helicopter. Nevertheless, Robbie says the emotional preparation process for the film was the most difficult:
“The emotional stuff was definitely more difficult. Exposing my most vulnerable sides to everyone in the room who were strangers at that point was incredibly hard. Trying to figure out the dynamic between Harley and Joker and why she is so devoted to this guy that tries to kill her occasionally, I mean, it took me a while to get my head around. The physical side was more fun than challenging.”
So, will the ends justify the means in the case of Suicide Squad? Naturally, the film’s cast is saying “Yes” for the time being, but it won’t be long now before the review embargo for the movie is lifted (today, in fact, at the time of writing this) and critics get to have their say on the matter. Then, a few days later, the rest of the moviegoing public will be weighing in too, on whether or not Suicide Squad itself is as memorable as it pre-production stories are.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; 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 and Batman solo movie are currently without release dates.