At the moment, everyone is focused on the imminent release of DC’s superhero battle royal, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and with good reason. The success of the film will launch the Warner Bros/DC Extended Universe, with dozens of films like Wonder Woman and Aquaman waiting in the wings. However, nearly as important to DC’s franchise is the 2016 villains-gone-good picture, Suicide Squad.
The film already has controversial edge – between the darker-edged yet tongue-in-cheek nature of the film and the character design choices used for several characters, including Jared Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. In the film, The Joker, Harley Quinn, and many other characters feature some serious ink, so when actor Common’s character was revealed, his heavily illustrated character fit right in but also caused a lot of conjecture.
Recently, Common spoke with Complex about his upcoming role in Barbershop: The Next Cut. When the topic moved on to comic book films, they asked him point blank about his mysterious role in the upcoming Suicide Squad. Although the actor is still fairly coy, he does reveal a name and an affiliation:
“My role is basically…he’s a character who’s in business with the Joker. His name is Monster T.”
Pictures of the character revealed him to be covered with tattoos, at least on his head, and piercings – keeping with the edgy, alternative theme of the other villains – and wearing biker gear. Initial speculation centered on Common playing one of several possible characters: including either Aquaman villain Black Manta, Bronze Tiger, or even warlock Doctor Mist. Most recently, though, most rumors and theories spiraled around former Marine Mark Richards, aka the Tattooed Man.
Although Monster T isn’t a known property in the DC comic universe, the name could be indicative of a fresh villain concocted for the film. The character could also be an amalgam of several roles, such as a Tattooed Man-Bronze Tiger-Black Mantra amalgam. It’s difficult to tell at this point, though, due to the reported influence of both the initial run of the Suicide Squad comic and its New 52 version on Ayer's film. And while Common claims his character is a business associate of the Joker, it’s unclear whether he’ll actually be a friend or foe of the Squad in the film.
It’s also possible Monster T is a smokescreen to hide Common’s true character – either because of its importance or Ayer's desire to maintain a degree secrecy on the film. Monster T is certainly a more intimidating name than the Tattooed Man. However, his character name on the IMDB site for SS is listed as the Tattooed Man, and that character's long-running association with the comic book, and his antagonism with the Green Lantern and the Justice League would make the most sense as an addition to the film. All will be revealed soon enough, though, when Suicide Squad opens in August.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.