James Gunn has teased that The Suicide Squad will draw from multiple points of the titular group's timeline, but mostly the original comic run. Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, an early incarnation debuted in 1959's The Brave and the Bold #25. The original team was comprised of physicist Jess Bright, astronomer Dr. Hugh Evans, a flight medic named Karin Grace, and Rick Flag Jr. A second and more modernized version, also known as Task Force X and comprised mostly of lesser-known villains, was created by John Ostrander in 1987. The latter has served as the basis for many on-screen adaptations - including various Arrow episodes and in David Ayer's 2016 big-screen outing, Suicide Squad.
Starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie as Deadshot and Harley Quinn, respectively, Suicide Squad saw the ragtag group recruited by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to halt the world-ending threat of Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). Despite a healthy box office run and even earning an Academy Award, the film was widely panned by critics and moviegoers alike. In the wake of that and Justice League's even more underwhelming performance, Warner Bros. opted to shift direction with its DCEU. Soon after, following his being fired by Disney, it was announced that Gunn would write and direct the follow-up.
Speculation has since been rife as to which characters would feature in his film. That fact was only exacerbated by the official cast list being released. Robbie and Davis will reprise their roles, but Smith is not set to return. Jai Courtney, however, will once again play Captain Boomerang. Equally, Joel Kinnaman will once again take on the role of Rick Flag - the only character to have appeared in both original comic book line-ups and the 2016 movie. Though some of the new cast members have had their characters revealed - such as David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man - many remain firmly up for debate. Responding to a fan on Instagram, Gunn teased that the film draws heavy inspiration from the more popular original 1980s run of Suicide Squad comic books, even somewhat downplaying King Shark in the process:
"The original Squad was a group of adventurers, soldiers, and scientists, who explored and battled anomalous events. Ostrander introduced the idea of the Dirty Dozen with disposable, second-rate supervillains. King Shark didn't enter the team till the 2000s. [Our] movie takes elements from all those timelines but is especially indebted to Ostrander (and Kim Yale)."
Gunn even demonstrated his commitment to the 1950s original with a post via Instagram, showing off the edition of the Brave and the Bold #25 he had been gifted. King Shark has frequently been cited by fans as a character they most want to see in the film. Since then, it was heavily rumored that Steve Agee would tackle the role. Though Agee is definitely a part of the cast, Gunn's statements imply he looked further into the group's history when picking his characters. Though fans could, therefore, be potentially facing disappointment, it certainly narrows the field for speculation.
What it means for the story, however, remains wide open. Though forging a team of misfits would certainly be on-brand for the Guardians of the Galaxy director, it would also be a twist if he incorporates more everyday human characters such Karin Grace, who served as Rick Flag's girlfriend in the comics. Equally, though a point of contention was that the group were tasked with facing a Justice League-level threat in Suicide Squad, he conveyed that there is a history of such endeavors in the source material. Whatever the case, despite being rehired to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn has remained committed to The Suicide Squad and doing the adaptation to his fullest ability. With filming having officially begun in Atlanta, however, it will hopefully not be too long until official details for The Suicide Squad emerge.
Source: James Gunn/Instagram
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