DC producer Peter Safran says that James Gunn will focus all his efforts on making The Suicide Squad before moving onto Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Gunn's relationship with Marvel has been a rollercoaster to watch unfold. In July of 2018, Gunn was fired as the director on the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, after a slew of controversial tweets from 2008 and 2009 were brought to light. He seemingly moved on a few months after that by signing on to write DC's next Suicide Squad movie, which he has since agreed to direct as well. Everything appeared to have settled down after that until yesterday, when Disney unexpectedly reinstated Gunn as the director for Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
At the moment, the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie doesn't have a release date, whereas The Suicide Squad is scheduled to hit theaters in the summer of 2021. It was confirmed yesterday that Gunn will direct The Suicide Squad next, followed by Guardians 3 sometime after that. Now, Safran has come out and offered further assurance that Gunn won't be rushing his DC Comics adaptation through the pipeline, in order to get back to work on the Guardians franchise faster.
In an interview with JoBlo to promote DC's Shazam! (which opens in April), Safran had the following to say, when asked if either he or Gunn are under more pressure now to get The Suicide Squad made faster, in the wake of his rehiring on Guardians of the Galaxy 3:
"No, it was all handled incredibly elegantly and everybody knows on both sides that Suicide Squad is the priority today and he’ll finish that movie and then everybody knows that his next film will be Guardians. It’s the best of all possible both worlds, I think, for fans and for James Gunn himself."
Many people strongly believed that Disney had overreacted when it came to firing Gunn from the highly successful Guardians franchise, resulting in hashtags and petitions that even the stars of the Guardians movies vocalized their support for. The voices amassed and apparently had Disney thinking twice about their decision. It's even being reported now that Marvel didn't search for a replacement director on Guardians 3 between firing and rehiring Gunn to call the shots, despite rumors that Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi or Vice's Adam McKay would be stepping in. Following the news of his rehiring, Gunn released a statement on Twitter saying, "I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months. [...] I am excited to continue making films that investigate the ties of love that bind us all."
Elsewhere, The Suicide Squad is in pre-production, but aims to begin shooting sometime this fall. Few official details have been revealed about the film, though Margot Robbie is expected to reprise her role as Harley Quinn and Idris Elba will be replacing Will Smith as Deadshot. Warner Bros. has slotted the film for an August 2021 release, which means Guardians 3 won't be arriving until after that. Gunn did finish the Guardians of the Galaxy 3 script prior to being fired, but there is a good chance that rewrites will have to be made now, to coincide with Marvel's upcoming slate of releases.
It's a rare and wonderful time where we get to see a director handling a Marvel and DC film, and Gunn's vibrant and comedic style should help breathe new life into The Suicide Squad. Not only that, but the Guardians threequel will be on the horizon soon after with a familiar face to help bring the franchise home. It's a win-win for the comic book world at large, really.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022