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James Gunn's Suicide Squad Reboot: DC's Secret Weapon?

James Gunn has left behind Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy for DC's Suicide Squad. But even with director David Ayer giving Gunn his blessing for Suicide Squad 2, fans of the original are worried that DC intends to scrap a direct sequel and reboot the Squad. But trust us: that's the right move to make if the movie is going to stay true to the comics.

To be clear, we're not saying James Gunn's "new take" on Suicide Squad should pretend that the first movie never happened. From a business sense, scrapping the movie franchise that earned the DCEU its first Oscar and almost as much money as Guardians of the Galaxy makes no sense at all (but that might not stop WB). But if the movie is going to follow the same path as the comic book, Suicide Squad 2 shouldn't have been a direct sequel anyway.

With James Gunn bringing a new perspective, even a new team to  Suicide Squad 2, the property could finally become DC's secret weapon in their war against the genre-defining Marvel movie universe.

Suicide Squad's Story Already Got Its Ending

Understanding fans' desire to see the Squad back in action is easy: with a cast anchored by Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, and more, DC was hoping the star power would sell interest in a sequel (and another, and another). But the main reason why a direct sequel picking up immediately after, or close to the ending of the first Suicide Squad would be a problem is that... their story hasn't really changed. David Ayer wasn't trying to launch an epic story - he was showing criminals proving they weren't "pieces of sh*t" and saving the world. Before returning to their prison cells with a small reward, and waiting for the next mission.

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Deadshot atoned for being arrested in front of his daughter, and proving to her that he is a good man, in his own way. Ever other villain got some kind of redemption arc along the way, but not in a way that made them "heroes" somehow lifted out of their sentences. There was no greater threat revealed on the horizon, or some energized, inciting incident where a sequel would presumably pick up. The Squad exist to be caught and used - and the movie tells that story.

Those teases or dangling threads would all be expected in the kind of franchise filmmaking that Marvel has made the prevailing 'way of doing things,' sure. But there is no comic book franchise that makes more sense getting a fresh start from someone like James Gunn than the Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad Shouldn't Follow Marvel's Formula

Seeing things as not following Marvel's lead is easier said than done, but is necessary to grasp the value and appeal of Suicide Squad in both comics and film. With extended franchises of sequels and long-term, serialized superhero arcs, a reboot means erasing the story being told, and what it was setting up next. But with the Squad - a group of random criminals gathered together for a deadly mission - those things need not be considered. A larger mythology or continuity? What continuity? They're prisoners working for the government in an endless parade of suicide missions. What more is there to tell?

As the clear leads of the previous movie, DC instructing Gunn to carry Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and Will Smith's Deadshot over to the new mission would make sense. But beyond that the premise of the franchise means an effective "reboot" with each new mission, and each new team. Put that creative control and the addition of new characters in the hands of the man who introduced the Guardians of the Galaxy to the MCU, and DC will more than prove that Marvel made a mistake in letting James Gunn go.

Handle the next iteration of the Suicide Squad and Waller's next assignment just right, and DC's most surprising hit becomes a secret weapon Marvel Studios can't HOPE to match.

Page 2 of 2: Suicide Squad Can Do The One Thing Marvel Can't

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Key Release Dates
  • Suicide Squad 2 release date: Dec 13, 2018
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