The Squad Concept is The Star, Not Cast or Characters
The truth of Suicide Squad is that it's an idea sold on its premise alone: the deadliest of the deadliest are captured, incarcerated, and forced to do Amanda Waller's bidding. If they ever hope of seeing freedom again, they'll play along with the suicide missions they're given... and let loose to return to their shooting, maiming, killing, or antiheroic ways. Even without knowing who is going to be ON the Squad itself, the subversive and un-heroic pitch has superhero or comic book fans intrigued.
That's how it works in the comics, which have one major benefit that movie audiences don't: fans still get to see these characters in countless other books, with no explicit beginning or ending to their individual stories. So it goes without saying that members like Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and even Captain Boomerang will wash in and wash out after individual story arcs. The typical questions posed to cast changes or character departures - Why did they leave? Where did they go? What will they do next? - aren't even asked, since the answer is obvious. They left by escaping or being let loose back into the larger DC Universe, and will show up before too long elsewhere.
It can't be overstated enough: reports that Deadshot could appear in another movie, or that Harley Quinn is leaving for Birds of Prey are NOT a sign of DC's movie franchises in disarray. It's a sign that Suicide Squad is working exactly as it was designed to, and if handled right, could become DC's secret weapon.
DC's Suicide Squad Can Be Everything Marvel Isn't
In just a few short years, Marvel's "shocking" way of building a shared universe became the norm, the formula, the one way that makes sense to audiences, fans, bloggers, critics, and even studio executives (just ask Zack Snyder how ignoring the Marvel formula worked out). But as Marvel's cinematic universe has been framed, filled in, reinforced, and now raised one film or phase at a time, that structure and rigidity comes with a price. Simply put, no single role, cameo, or casting can be made lightly. And Marvel can take years, even an entire decade to address the loudest fan demands since they're following a multi-franchise, interconnected, multi-billion-dollar roadmap.
But the Suicide Squad? Warner Bros. and James Gunn have an entire universe of DC criminals, killers, and convicts to choose from, with an audience that understands they shouldn't look too far into the future. Not with a bomb planted in every villain (and every A-list star's) skull putting their DC future in jeopardy. The bigger the name and the bigger the villain, the greater the chances they will stick around for a potential sequel, sure. But that's a decision that gets to be made after their 'audition' on the Squad, where they're free to bounce off of established fan-favorites while demonstrating their powers and personality (a strength Gunn showed with the first Guardians).
No pressure on DC to construct some larger, agreed-upon, studio-wide plan for each character's future. Ideally that would place more creative power in the filmmakers hands, where it should be, looking to the Squad for potential villains or allies for other films. You want them? You can have them. It's proof that DC hit a home run introducing a new character to their universe - and that's another spot on the team to fill in Suicide Squad 3.
The potential is there to make the next Suicide Squad more than a sequel, more than a reboot... now DC and James Gunn just have to see it, too.
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021