[WARNING: This article contains MASSIVE POTENTIAL SPOILERS for Suicide Squad!]
There was a time when comic fans would have said that no movie coming from DC and Warner Bros. would be able to steal the thunder from Batman v Superman, but Suicide Squad seems to have done just that. Not by relying on more well-known comic book heroes, mind you; but by relying on talent to turn heads across the industry.
The confirmation of Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith and later, Viola Davis was proof that Warner Bros. was swinging for the fences with its villain-focused project, with few asking what story could possibly do justice to such a colorful cast of characters. Now, it seems that question may have been answered, as a report has laid out the story Suicide Squad is expected to follow. And aside from the film's plot, the rumors promise a more structured approach to expanding DC's shared movie universe.
We've been keeping the speculation over the villain team-up largely to ourselves, offering background details on the confirmed cast and advising all curious DC fans to watch the animated Batman: Assault on Arkham for their best look at what a live-action Squad may look like. Now, sources of Latino-Review are claiming to have an inside scoop on the planned story, still presumably being worked on by writer/director David Ayer.
It goes without saying that all rumors of this nature are to be taken with a grain of salt, but some elements fall closely in line with our own suspicions. When combined with what we know of the characters in question (and prior reports surrounding the film) the rumored plot is an intriguing one. Read on for the details - and our own speculation - but we warned that SPOILERS abound.
The Story Premise
Fans of the Squad's New 52 reboot will be pleased to hear that the film begins by uniting Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley (Margot Robbie). However, the meeting will be a coincidence: Deadshot has been contracted to kill an Arkham inmate while being transferred, and Harley crashes the party to spring her beloved Joker (Jared Leto). The plans of the pair collide, winding them both up in cuffs, and transferred to Belle Reve prison under the watchful eye of warden Amanda Waller (Viola Davis).
So far, these details fall in line with the established comic book canon, as Louisiana's Belle Reve Penitentiary (located in Terrebonne Parish, to be precise) is the base of operations for both Waller and her underground black ops team. It's no departure from the comics for Deadshot to be willing to assassinate an Arkham inmate, OR that Harley inevitably bungles it.
Once they've settled in, both Deadshot and Harley are recruited into Task Force X (a.k.a. the 'Suicide Squad') and equipped with their internal explosive charges, with Joker apparently transported to Belle Reve to ensure Harley's cooperation.
That means that Jared Leto's Joker will spend much of his time in the film confined to a cell and removed from most of the action (similar to his role in Assault on Arkham). How much screen time that will amount to isn't clear, but the fact that WB and Ayer are willing to reveal Leto's new Joker in the opening sequence is a pleasant surprise.
The tension rises when Lawton and Harley are introduced to their teammate: Boomerang (Jai Courtney). Lawton and Boomerang have an axe to grind from the start - as is always the case with the two villains - only this time it's not over who will be leading the team in the field. Boomerang's bone to pick with Deadshot has to do with his own father - whom Deadshot has killed.
The rivalry between Smith and Courtney is almost too good to pass up (two imposing action stars whose respective characters "never miss"), but the father storyline is a new twist. We speculated that Suicide Squad's version of Boomerang could take cues from the original villain's son, Owen Mercer; making Deadshot the reason for that change would be an interesting spin.
If it wasn't already clear, the sources claim Suicide Squad is designed to introduce villains prior to their appearances as antagonists in other superheroes' series. That would justify the presence of Amanda Waller across the shared universe, but could also signal a desire to give the universe's villains real justification and nuance before facing off against 'the good guys' (a criticism often levelled at both DC and Marvel films).
That of course includes Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor who, after being introduced in Dawn of Justice has been rumored to make an appearance in Suicide Squad as well. That news led many to believe that Luthor would be joining the team, but we've doubted that plan for a number of reasons. Apparently, the sources have an explanation for his involvement as well.
The mission that Deadshot, Boomerang and Harley will be carrying out - to shorten their respective prison sentences - is an attack on an armed convoy. Tasked with acquiring the convoy's "bio weaponry" on its way to Lex Luthor, the trio find upon completion of the mission that the "weaponry" is actually a human being: Enchantress, played by newcomer Cara Delevingne.
However, the form Enchantress takes is that of a young girl named June Moon (who contains the powerful sorceress within her body). Since Superman is as vulnerable to magic as any human, it's clear why Lex Luthor would be interested in her skills. Yet his role in the proceedings seems to imply that Eisenberg may not need to actually appear in the film to have his character referenced. It's also worth stating that in the New 52, Enchantress was the first foe to face the new Justice League Dark - set to make their own entry into the DC movie universe in the coming years.
Once June Moon is returned to Belle Reve and added to Waller's collection of supernatural oddities (modern Squad member King Shark mentioned by name), a riot breaks out, freeing the inmates. It's during this frenzy that Leto's Joker makes his murderous escape as just one of an endless number of villains and cameos possible
The last bomb dropped by the sources pertains to the role of Rick Flagg, to have been played by Tom Hardy before he recently dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with Mad Max: Fury Road (and the role Ayer is now eyeing Jake Gyllenhaal to fill). The site claims that the "scheduling conflict" is merely a cover, and it was partly the script's closing twist - that Flagg wasn't working with Waller, and ultimately betrays her - that led him to leave the project.
That particular claim is one we would eye with plenty of skepticism for now. The sources describe Flagg as "more of a government agent" overseeing Waller than a soldier, with his father Rick Flagg, Sr. revealed as the villain behind the scenes. That's a complete departure from the comics, but given that it's Amanda Waller - a woman willing to send inmates to their death - that is getting double-crossed, it's hard to call Flagg a 'villain' for wanting to curb her plans.
The script is apparently still being circulated and more rewrites are possible before production starts in April, so all these details are subject to change. But for now, fans expecting to see the action and characters of Assault on Arkham and the planting of plenty shared universe seeds look to be pleased. It's not entirely a surprise, but this outline shows that several iconic villains can join in on the fun without competing for the spotlight. That's the idea, at least.
What do you make of these rumored story beats and twists? Does this plot sound more or less like you expected it would? Share your thoughts and reactions in the comments.
Suicide Squad will be in theaters on August 5, 2016.
Source: Latino Review
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