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Directors Who Should Helm Suicide Squad 2 if James Gunn Doesn't

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With James Gunn now on board at Warner Bros. to write Suicide Squad 2, we take a look at potential directors he could collaborate with, should he not end up sitting in the chair himself. The announcement that Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn would be joining the DCEU as the new writer of the sequel to Suicide Squad proved to be a major Hollywood story. After his July 2018 firing from Marvel over the uncovering of old offensive tweets, many feared that the fan favorite would never direct again, much less be given the opportunity to further work on Phase 4 of the MCU. Gunn’s addition to the DC roster seems to be the ideal fit for both film-maker and studio, as Gunn’s black comedy and Troma rooted sensibilities are perfectly matched with the gonzo chaos of the Suicide Squad stories.

Gunn is currently attached as a screenwriter to the movie, but there's a possibility he won't direct. If that's the case, Gunn could end up working in collaboration with another film-maker to bring the sequel to fruition. Fortunately, there are plenty of directors who would work well with Gunn and still be able to establish their own creative sensibilities on the franchise. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of directors who could take over the gig, pulled both from likely candidates and overlooked names we think are perfect for the franchise. Make sure to share your own choices in the comments.

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Gavin O’Connor

Gavin O'Connor, director of films such as Miracle, Warrior and The Accountant, was previously attached to Suicide Squad 2 as director. He signed onto the project last September for both directing and writing duties. Yet, by the time Gunn was announced to be joining the DC team, O'Connor's name was off the project. This was allegedly due to his script treatment for the film being too similar to the studio’s planned Birds of Prey movie (to be directed by Cathy Yan), and O’Connor’s apparent frustration over that film being given the go-ahead before his. Since O'Connor's exit was due to him not wanting to do a script rewrite, he could still be game to direct (and may even have dibs since Gunn hasn't been confirmed yet) should he like what Gunn comes up with. He's currently working on other projects, including 2 new films with Ben Affleck, including a sequel to their film The Accountant, but the break needed for Gunn to rewrite the script would leave plenty of time for O'Connor to return to Warner Bros. for Suicide Squad 2. The Accountant was a big hit for Warner Bros. and the studio are always keen to keep profitable talent on their roster.

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Gareth Evans

When Welsh director Gareth Evans smashed his way onto the action scene with 2011's The Raid, many called it the reinvention of an entire genre. The ruthlessly brutal movie combined the traditional Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat with the claustrophobic intensity of a heist movie to create a bone shattering experience that put most American action movies to shame. A sequel amped up the tension while his most recent film, Netflix's Apostle, proved a true surprise with its blend of Wicker Man inspired period horror and the overwhelming violence Evans made his name with. In an age where film fans are bored of CGI and crying out for realistic stunt work, Evans feels like the antidote to the computer-generated take-over. In October 2017, it was reported that Evans was working with DC on a Deathstroke movie, but earlier this month, Evans revealed that the project probably wasn’t happening any time soon since Warner Bros. had yet to get in touch with him about it. It would be a real waste for Evans and DC to see such a tantalizing partnership go to waste, and a lower budget hard R-rated Suicide Squad movie that combines Gunn’s black humor with Evans’s ultra-violence would certainly be an experience worth investing in.

Related: Who Dave Bautista Should Play in Suicide Squad 2

Vincenzo Natali

With influences that include David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam, and Samuel Beckett, Vincenzo Natali has long been one of the most intriguing horror directors working today. His 1997 debut Cube was a critical and commercial success, while 2009's Splice offered a fresh take on body horror with a sci-fi twist. Natali has made a name for himself in television, directing series like Hannibal, Westworld, and American Gods, but he shines the most when given the room to explore his fascinations with the body and his unique approach to classic horror tropes. Natali has had a number of high-profile projects that never got off the ground, including a 3D adaptation of Swamp Thing. Suicide Squad is a series packed full of eclectic and grotesque characters who could benefit from a neo-horror touch that Natali is so adept at bringing.

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Page 2: David Ayer, Karyn Kusama, and More

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Key Release Dates
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • Birds of Prey (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
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