The recent set photos from The Suicide Squad explain why James Gunn's newest superhero movie contains such a massive cast. The cast includes several returning characters from the first film, along with multiple new additions to the cast.
Suicide Squad 2 is something of a soft reboot of the franchise rather than a direct sequel to the 2016 movie. The first Suicide Squad, based on the DC Comics team of the same, centered on a group of a costumed villains, led by Deadshot (Will Smith), who are forced to work for the government. Acting as anti-heroes, the Suicide Squad were caught in a battle with the Joker (Jared Leto). The sequel is dropping quite a few cast members from the original and bringing in a multitude of well-known actors, including Idris Elba, Peter Capaldi, Nathan Fillion, Pete Davidson, Michael Rooker, John Cena, and Taika Waititi.
Photos taken at the set of Suicide Squad 2 in Atlanta show off a handful of the new cast: Sean Gunn, Flula Borg, Fillion, Davidson, and Mayling Ng. They appear to be playing Weasel, Javelin, Blackguard, Savant, and Mongal respectively. All five of these characters are extremely obscure DC Comics villains. For some, their connections to the Suicide Squad are minimal at best, due in part to the fact that most of them never lived for very long.
Their expendable nature in the comics will likely translate to the movie. It's hard to imagine that these obscure villains will receive that much screen time, especially when considering how many other characters will appear in the film. Chances are, the team seen in the set photos will die in the movie's first act. There may be one or two survivors, such as Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang, who was also on set at the time.
When these characters die, they'll presumably be replaced by a new Suicide Squad. This is where the other actors who weren't on set -- like Idris Elba, John Cena, and Margot Robbie -- may come into play. This makes sense of why The Suicide Squad features such a large, star-studded cast. A sizable chunk of the cast will likely be killed off quite quickly. This is reinforced by what James Gunn said in the tweet that announced the full cast: "Don't get too attached". The characters played by Fillion, Davidson, and the others may be among the movie's earliest casualties. It remains to be seen how many more will join them.
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