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Theory: James Gunn Is Recasting The Suicide Squad (To Kill Them All)

James Gunn and Suicide Squad Comic Cover

With director James Gunn building a new team of supervillains largely unknown to mainstream audiences for Suicide Squad 2 (titled The Suicide Squad), many fans are wondering if the director is plotting a massive body count before the film is through. This would be no surprise given that dark comedy and bloody action are integral parts of Gunn's oeuvre and would be in keeping with the spirit of the Suicide Squad comics.

While the Suicide Squad name has been a part of DC Comics lore since the late 1950s, the most famous version of the team was introduced in 1987, when Amanda Waller proposed reactivating Task Force X (a government project which recruited special agents for dangerous covert missions) utilizing incarcerated supervillains. The series ran for 68 issues, including one annual and one special, and became well-known for its use of more obscure heroes and villains as well its high body count. The Suicide Squad comics suggested that none of its regular cast were safe and many of them did die over the course of the series, in ways that were unexpected and often darkly humorous.

Related: Suicide Squad 2's New Characters Explained

While the first Suicide Squad movie faced criticism on many fronts, it was this aspect of the classic comics - the idea that no one was safe - that drew the most fire for its absence from fans of the original series. Only two members of the team died in Suicide Squad. Of those, only one, Slipknot, died in a manner consistent with the tone of the source material, having his head blown off while trying to escape custody and proving that Waller was not bluffing about the bombs implanted in the team's heads. The other villain to die, Diablo, had a much more heroic death, nobly sacrificing himself to save the "friends" that he had just met for the first time a day or two earlier.

Suicide Squad from 1980s Comic Books

While it seems unlikely that Idris Elba (who is in talks to replace Will Smith as Deadshot) or Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn are in danger of dying, Gunn is reportedly padding the ranks of the new Suicide Squad with a number of decidedly obscure characters, like the Peacekeeper. Gunn is famous for his knowledge of comic book trivia and his love of less well-known characters, so it seems likely that he could find a way to make the likes of the Polka Dot Man work effectively alongside King Shark. Given that and Gunn's love of dark comedy, it seems a fair guess that he has intentionally asked to use some of these characters purely so he can kill them off in a variety of funny ways.

On the other hand, Gunn has also shown a soft spot for misfits and outcasts in his previous works as a writer and director. When Guardians of the Galaxy first released, few expected a movie starring the likes of Rocket Raccoon and Groot to break even, much less turn the pair of semi-reformed thieves into two of Marvel Comics' most popular characters. If there's any writer/director in Hollywood capable of finding a way to turn the Ratcatcher into a credible threat, it's James Gunn. Even so, it seems a safe bet that not every new character in Suicide Squad is going to make it out of the film in one piece.

More: The Suicide Squad: Every Update You Need To Know

Key Release Dates
  • 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 (2021) release date: May 21, 2021
  • 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
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