The official Suicide Squad trailer that debuted at Comic-Con 2015 and later leaked online is now online officially! And let’s be honest: With this trailer, DC and Warner Bros. are changing the game with their DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
Besides featuring the first team of of comic book villains to lead a major blockbuster movie, and occupying a very pivotal nexus point in the DC Movie Universe, Suicide Squad also packs one of the most high-profile casts of any comic book movie. With names like Will Smith, Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street), Jai Courtney (Terminator Genisys), Joel Kinnaman (Robocop), Viola Davis (The Help), and Jared Leto as the newest movie version of The Joker, DC is taking a very different path than Marvel’s early days of casting lower-profile talent in big movie roles. And if the first trailer is any indication, it’s going to be a crazy good success.
We recently discussed the Suicide Squad trailer on a the Comic-Con 2015 wrap episodes of the SR Underground Podcast, where I made this claim: the first trailer for Suicide Squad is not only one of the best comic book movie trailers I’ve seen in years, it it one of the best trailers I’ve seen in years across the board, and does so much of what is lacking in the Batman V Superman Comic-Con trailer: This Suicide Squad first look tells us a story worth caring about in just hints and implications – while smashing any doubt that Leto’s Joker could potentially be a great interpretation of the DC villain.
Welcome to The Underbelly
What the Suicide Squad does right off the bat (from the very first frame, which pays stylistic homage to the ’70s comic book), is differentiate itself from Marvel Studios’ fantastical superhero universe by setting a dark tone for this underbelly of the DCEU. This is a world where black-bag government operatives like Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) scheme with impunity, using fascistic tactics to coerce criminals into dangerous missions.
Besides the shadowy corners of government, Suicide Squad takes us right into the underbelly of the DCEU underworld in the way that only Street Kings director David Ayer can. From professional assassins like Will Smith’s Deadshot, to crazed killers like Joker (Jared Leto) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) to freaky metahuman crooks like Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), we’re getting to see an entire criminal world to rival that of our future DCEU superheroes – a bold move to help build this shared universe in dimensions that Marvel hasn’t yet dared to.
Task Force X
For those unfamiliar with DC Comics, “Task Force X” is the official title of what is known as “The Suicide Squad,” violent and deadly criminals that are plucked from prison and sent on covert missions under the order of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). The squad members get implanted with explosive trackers, under threat of death of they don’t cooperate.
In the movie version of Suicide Squad, we have the following players on the team (from left to right):
- Adam Beach (Slipknot)
- Jai Courtney (Boomerang)
- Karen Fukuhara (Katana)
- Cara Delevingne (Enchantress)
- Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag – with ONE ‘g’)
- Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn)
- Will Smith (Deadshot)
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc)
- Jay Hernandez (El Diablo).
The key to this ensemble is that half of them are just skilled criminals (Harley, Deadshot), while others exhibit the metahuman abilities Waller references in the opening of the trailer (Killer Croc, El Diablo and Enchantress).
Not everyone is going to make it out alive (obviously from the title of the film), but those that do, will likely become players in future DCEU movies. Based on a trailer scene involving a beat up Harley, Boomerang and Deadshot, those three would be the most likely survivors of the team (as Batman and Flash villains in future films). More obscure characters like Katana or Slipknot (my bet for “first to die”) could get taken out – and one ominous scene in the trailer shows what looks like El Diablo in his possible final moments.
No matter what, though, we expect that Jared Leto’s Joker will walk off laughing by the end, ready to terrorize The Batman in that upcoming solo film directed by Ben Affleck.
The Legend of The Batman
One impressive thing about the DCEU is how laterally its creators are thinking. In just the Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman Comic-Con trailers we’ve gotten an entire backstory to Ben Affleck’s Batman through footage shots and implications – as well as, the violent history between Batman and The Joker, implied by everything from a memorial for a seemingly dead Robin (scrawled in Joker graffiti), to a Suicide Squad flashback scene of Joker and Harley’s days on the run in Gotham, with Batman (making a cameo) in hot pursuit.
This is a notable aspect of how DC is approaching these films: with history and mythology already established, circumventing the need for traditional hero/villain origin tales. We are entering a world that has already been designed in three-dimensions, where actions in one film have direct, butterfly effect ripples on the other films, and the mythology is consistent. It will be interesting to see how the villain side of things is expanded by the full Suicide Squad movie, and what ripple effects it has on future DCEU movies.
The Ballad of Joker & Harley
Again, in just a few brief trailer moments from Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad, fans of the DCEU are already know a great deal of backstory for Jared Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in this new interpretation. Carfeful viewers have already picked a particular part of the Harley origin story: having her brain seemingly rearranged by the Joker, when she was (presumably) just a psychiatrist at Arkham.
Besides the pair of hell-crossed lovers essentially stealing the spotlight in this first trailer (arguably stealing it away from the actual Suicide Squad), seeing them in motion onscreen – tattoos, silver teeth, purple glove and all – has eradicated a lot of the early negativity – particularly where Leto is concerned. It seems we might have a worthy successor to Heath Ledger, after all. Who knew? (I did, and I said it here.)
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more news from SDCC!
Source: Warner Bros.