Now that fans have adjusted to the shock of learning that James Gunn is going to write (and possibly direct) Suicide Squad 2, the next question is who he will cast in the movie. After his firing from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, fans weren't sure about what the future held for Gunn, with the lingering possibility of him returning to Marvel, but now that he's on Suicide Squad 2, things could look very different for the sequel.
Gunn, having proved himself already adept at handling teams of misfit criminals working together to save people, is a fine choice for the sequel to 2016's love-it-or-hate-it villainous group hug of a movie. Warner Bros. have played an extremely captivating chip in their ongoing struggle for box office dominance with Marvel Studios, showing that Disney may have made the wrong move after all, in firing Gunn and keeping him that way.
The DC Extended Universe now has a thrilling opportunity to level the playing field with the quality of their future releases. Gunn will hopefully be bringing his unique sensibilities, keen sense of humor, stylistic action, and knack for ensemble scripts to the Suicide Squad sequel. It's a franchise that captured the zeitgeist two years ago in such a way that some people are comfortable with forgetting the first film's 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes in favor of its $747 million worldwide box office haul and Academy Award. Harley Quinn's 'Daddy's Little Monster' shirt continues proving to be a Halloween best seller two years later.
With word that Gunn's script will be a "fresh take" on the franchise, it's not clear if we'll see any former cast members returning, but they could (perhaps wisely) bring back the ever-popular Will Smith as Deadshot, find a gap in Robbie's schedule (including an appearance in Birds of Prey), and arrange a return of Viola Davis as Amanda Waller - the glue that keeps the Squad together (under pain of death, but still).
Regardless of whether or not Gunn's script brings back any original cast members, the writer-director has a whole box of toys to play with from the DC Universe, and fans would be remiss to think he hasn't inserted some new ones. So what would a newly revitalized team of supervillains, working off their prison sentences by hunting, killing and rescuing people for the U.S. government, look like?
Dave Bautista as Bane
Bautista has very vocally been against James Gunn's firing over at Marvel, and has even said that he'd be hesitant to appear in a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 without Gunn at the helm. Since the news dropped that Gunn would be working on Suicide Squad 2, Bautista gave a very clear response; "Where do I sign up!".
Should Bautista be able to get out of his contract for Guardians 3 - or even if he completes filming for that second sequel, and he becomes available for Suicide Squad 2 - it's easy to imagine that Gunn would bring him over to the opposition for a role. His physicality lends a few options, none moreso enticing than Bane. Fans have already been envisioning him in the role, and he certainly looks the part.
Bane (previously played by current Venom Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises) has been a member of the Suicide Squad in the comic books of the same name, and is depicted as having a moral code beset by shades of gray. He also appeared in the similar villain-centric comic Secret Six, and acted as a kind of father figure to fellow teammate Scandal Savage.
The opportunity for Bane's character to move past his menacing roots and become softer-edged over the course of a Suicide Squad movie would be an enticing arc for any actor to undertake. Having already played hulking comic-relief Drax in Guardians, Bane offers an alluring alternative to Bautista as it offers the opportunity to play a darker, more serious role. At this point, its fair to assume that Bautista would undertake any role Gunn gifts him. Here's hoping it's Bane.
Michael Rooker as Jonah Hex
Gunn has already expressed a desire to work with the character of scarred Wild West bounty hunter Jonah Hex, and it would be simple enough to propel the character forward in time from his 19th Century origins into the present day - much like the character once was catapulted into a dystopian future in his source material.
Rooker is one of Gunn's 'good luck charms', appearing in more than a few of the auteur's films, including a fun, highly-praised turn as Yondu in the Guardians movies. If Gunn ends up at the helm of Suicide Squad 2, it wouldn't come as any surprise if he took Rooker with him - and the gruff actor has the Southern drawl and rough charm that would suit Jonah Hex to a tee. The actor's strong comedic chops would also benefit from the fish-out-of-water comedy that having Hex in the present would provide.
Plus, we all need to wash the taste of Josh Brolin's take on Jonah Hex out of our mouths.
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