While Suicide Squad was a blockbuster hit in 2015 with a final global cume of $745.6 million ($325.1 domestically, $420.5 internationally), it's been anything but smooth sailing for Warner Bros. to pull together the creative team for the supervillain sequel. David Ayer, who directed the original, has opted to focus his energies on the spinoff Gotham City Sirens instead, and bids to secure helmers like Oscar-winning director Mel Gibson have come up short.
That makes Collet-Serra the latest filmmaker to circle the Suicide Squad sequel, before passing in favor of something else. As reported by Deadline, Collet-Serra - who directed Liam Neeson in thrillers like Non-Stop and Run All Night, and most recently helmed The Shallows, starring Blake Lively - has indeed passed on Suicide Squad 2. The publication says the director saw Jungle Cruise as a better opportunity with a bankable global star, as opposed to continuing on with a storyline originated by another filmmaker.
Only time will tell if Collet-Serra is making the right move. Johnson, no doubt, has proven his box-office muscle over the past few years, but even the venerable action star has showed he's not impervious to flops - like this summer's Baywatch.
And while sequels are hardly ever a sure thing, Suicide Squad appears to present a better opportunity than most, considering that Suicide Squad got a lukewarm reception from fans and critics (despite its boffo box office). Instead of worrying about the foundation Ayer laid for Suicide Squad, perhaps Collet-Serra should have concentrated how he could make the potential franchise his own.
Whoever is next in line after Collet-Serra, Warner Bros. needs to lock in a director soon so that Suicide Squad 2 can move forward. With the film potentially going before cameras next year, a lot of uncertainties remain, including a commitment from Jared Leto to return as the Joker; the revelation that Cara Delevingne is "pretty sure" she won't be back as The Enchantress for the sequel; and most of all, the film's script, which is reportedly being re-written.
Fortunately, for the studio, director names like Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) have been floated around as potential helmers for Suicide Squad 2 - so at least with the loss of Collet-Serra, Warner Bros. won't have to start over from scratch in their search.
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