Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment are aiming to knock one out of the park with their next installment in the DC Extended Universe, in the form of Suicide Squad. The film was written and directed by David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury) and so far has a tide of positive buzz working in its favor, between the generally favorable pre-release screening reactions and the warm reception for the comic book-based movie’s catchy pop song-driven trailer and TV commercial marketing campaign.
Suicide Squad revolves around Task Force X, a group of captured supervillains who strike a bargain with government official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis): carry out a series of extremely dangerous missions for her and their sentences will be reduced. Of course, Waller and Task Force X’s leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) know they have to take extra precautions to keep the crew in line – which they do, by injecting explosives into the criminals’ necks that can be activated, should one of them attempt to escape or causes too much trouble out in the field. Hence, when Flag warns his crew that “You irritate or vex me – you die,” he’s not kidding around.
Suicide Squad TV spots such as the one above allude to the possibility that one or more members of Task Force X will be killed in action, while serving up more of the off-beat comedy and dark humor featured in TV spots and trailers past. Fortunately, though, these promos have avoided going so far as to spell out who kicks the bucket in the film. Still, the following Suicide Squad character portraits (released by WB/DC) may offer some additional hints, in that respect:
Whereas side characters such as Slipknot (Adam Beach) – not pictured above – seem fair game to die in Ayer’s film, most of the players that’ve been continuously highlighted in the movie’s promotional campaign should make it out in one piece. Those expected to have a future in the DCEU after Suicide Squad include Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn (who might even get her own spinoff), Will Smith as Deadshot (who is expected to come back for Suicide Squad 2, if it happens), and Jared Leto’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker. However, the future is hazier when it comes to Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Diablo (Jay Hernandez – who’s also not pictured here…).
WB/DC’s plans for the Suicide Squad franchise include potential spinoffs and sequels as mentioned, but also extend beyond the DCEU (see, for example, Katana being included in the DC Super Hero Girls lineup). Nonetheless, the role that the supervillains of Ayer’s movie play in winning over filmgoers who weren’t fans of director Zack Snyder’s first two DCEU installments (Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) – but are still curious to see what other directors come up with, while playing in this particular cinematic “sandbox” – could be an important one, when it comes to the overall future creative direction of the DC brand in general.
Suicide Squad opens in U.S. theaters on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League 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 July 24, 2020.