DC Comics and Warner Bros.' are launching an ambitious superhero shared universe starting in 2016; but while Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice may be the milestone film event that draws in the masses, hardcore superhero movie fans are actually beginning to show more interest in Suicide Squad, the supervillain team-up film that arrives shortly after Dawn of Justice is in theaters.
The Suicide Squad movie has generated massive buzz in a short time with good reason: Writer/director David Ayer is coming off a critically-acclaimed gritty film (Fury); he's built a cast that includes big stars like Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto playing iconic DC villains like Deadshot, Harley Quinn and The Joker (respectively); and rumored plotlines indicate that several elements of the film (like Viola Davis' Amanda Waller) will help to tie together the larger DCMU to come.
In short: Suicide Squad is a pretty big deal.
Like with all big superhero tentpole films, there are still some fine details to work out before Suicide Squad starts shooting later this year. Tom Hardy dropped out of one of the principal roles in the film (Squad leader Rick Flag), and they have yet to replace him. Another recent rumor pointed to True Blood star Joe Manganiello playing Deathstroke, DC's iconic assassin, who has been made famous on the small screen thanks to Arrow's Manu Bennett.
Now JoBlo is dropping even more Suicide Squad casting, character, and story details, which we've broken down for you in bullet point for quick summary:
- Ed Harris and Max Martini (Pacific Rim) are rumored to play father/son conspirators Rick Flag, Sr. and Rick Flag, Jr. (respectively). Previous rumors point to Jr. leading the squad, only to get caught up in the double-crossing schemes of Sr.
- Gary Sinise was rumored to play General Wade Elling (aka "The General"), but JoBlo asserts that he is actually playing Lois Lane's father, General Sam Lane.
- Karl Urban (Dredd) has been recently rumored to join the DCMU; initially we heard he could be the Aquaman movie villain, but now it's being said that he's also in the running for Rick Flag, Jr., as well.
- Terminator: Genisys star Jason Clarke is apparently the second pick to play Deathstroke - though David Ayer is said to be loyal to his Sabotage star, Joe Manganiello.
- Jared Leto's Joker is said to be scarred from years of battling with Batman, and will be the Hannibal Lecter of the film (i.e., playing mind games from inside his cell).
- The mind-controlling Enchantress (Cara Delvingne) is again mentioned as the film's MacGuffin (i.e., the Squad's target), and her powers are said to cause the film's prison riot finale.
- Rumors of a Batman cameo continue to look accurate; although, how that happens (brief glimpse on a TV screen or an actual, physical appearance in the movie) depends a lot on Ben Affleck's schedule during the shoot.
It should be noted that - despite coming from different sources - these Suicide Squad rumors seem to form a distinct pattern, one that falls in perfect step with the Assault on Arkham animated feature of last year, which served as an unofficial test run of the Suicide Squad brand. In other words: few surprises, yes, but a whole lot of potential for an awesomely dark and different sort of comic book movie from DC/WB.
As for the casting: Max Martini and Ed Harris are a strong combo to play the Rick Flag roles. Harris in particular could echo his character from The Rock and make a lot of fans happy - while Martini's work on shows like The Unit and films like Pacific Rim prove he would be right at home in a military commander role. Karl Urban is someone we'd probably reserve to play Ocean Master in Aquaman, while Gary Sinise would be a solid pick to play Lois Lane's daddy.
So far, the pitches we've heard for Jared Leto's Joker, Ben Affleck's Batman, or the inclusion of Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor have all been interestingly different from the usual. Small controlled doses of a new Batman and Joker rivalry (in such different context) will surely help DC/WB climb over the hump of Nolan's Dark Knight movie legacy - while the peripheral presence of Luthor will show how this universe can remain interconnected without overplaying its characters.
All in all: with actors like Harris, Martini and Manganiello possibly joining the already impressive cast, Suicide Squad is going to continue to build anticipation for its release.
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Suicide Squad will be in theaters on August 5, 2016.