It seems that word of Viola Davis’ role in the Suicide Squad movie may have been broken too soon; we warned that the How to Get Away With Murder Star being Warner Bros.’ frontrunner didn’t mean the deal was done, even if the actress herself expressed “excitement” about bringing the role of Amanda Waller to life. Now, it seems that there is more than one reason why she has yet to sign on the dotted line.
The first reports that Davis would be playing Waller (the government agent overseeing the eponymous Squad) claimed only that the part was hers, should she choose to accept it (and if her schedule permitted it). That question may be more difficult to answer than previously thought, with the studio planning much, much more for the character than a role in David Ayer’s villain team-up.
That in itself won’t be a surprise to DC Comics fans, since Amanda Waller – Director of clandestine government agency A.R.G.U.S. – has become a major player in the publisher’s comic universe. But according to sources of TheWrap, the two-time Oscar nominee’s commitment to the ABC drama must be worked around for more than a single shoot, with Waller planned to appear in multiple entries in WB’s shared superhero universe.
There’s no real mystery or hidden motivations to this story, since anyone familiar with the character in question or Davis’ acclaimed work can see the benefits of making her a key player in the studio’s film universe. All the more reason why the only hurdle remains working the schedule out on paper – which the same sources claim will be finished in the coming weeks. Thanks in part to Will Smith – just one of the award-winning actors already signed on – who has apparently been urging Warner Bros. to do “whatever it takes” to get Davis on board.
With WB’s release schedule now officially unveiled, it’s become clear that the studio will be uniting its characters and franchises in some unexpected ways – meaning some strong connective tissue (or a strong common player) will come in handy. When Davis spoke about her interest in Waller’s character, she made specific mention of her place in “a world of superhero-ness”; perhaps her description is more accurate than initially assumed.
There may be method to the madness of introducing a major shared universe player in a film originally thought to be a second-tier action film (beyond further establishing Suicide Squad as must-see material after Batman V Superman). In fact, with a mysterious government agency overseeing metahuman activity already established in Man of Steel, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Davis appear – either on-screen or off – ahead of the Squad either.
Even so, an attempt to do justice to the character on the big screen will demand more than just an imposing actress. After all, this is a character who (after losing her entire squad of soldiers in the most recent origin story) is more than willing to send some likable characters to their deaths, and still be likable in her own right. Not to mention potentially standing toe-to-toe with Lex Luthor himself.
There’s no doubt that Davis would be a solid addition to the film and larger universe, so hopefully official confirmation comes sooner rather than later. In the meantime, fans can speculate on just what a multi-picture deal could mean for Waller, the Squad, A.R.G.U.S., and the rest of DC’s Justice League superheroes.
Suicide Squad will be in theaters on August 5, 2016.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for Suicide Squad updates, as well as TV, movie and gaming news.