Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is the first film that shall expand upon Warner Bros./DC's blossoming shared cinematic universe in 2016, but David Ayer's Suicide Squad adaptation will be arriving hot on its heels, hitting theaters just a few months after the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader square off. With its director coming off the acclaimed war drama Fury and an A-list cast appearing in front of the camera, it can be argued that Suicide Squad is almost as anticipated as the superhero crossover that will precede it.
Two of Ayer's stars, Will Smith and Margot Robbie, coincidentally happen to be headlining the stylish crime drama Focus together, which will be released later this month, and are in the middle of a press tour for that film. Inevitably, they've fielded some questions about their villain/antihero team-up, previously providing details on their comic book workout regimens and Tom Hardy's departure from the project. Now, they're discussing the characters that they will play in the movie.
While speaking with Flicks and the City, Smith said that none of the Suicide Squad cast members have read Ayer's script yet. That doesn't seem to bother the actor, however, as he believes that the secrecy is an asset for the filmmaker's directing style and praised Ayer's methods.
Read his quote:
"It's really cool, the way that David Ayer works. It's all images, all ideas, and he holds the screenplay [pretty close] and he just keeps sending you things about your character. He just wants you to be prepared for anything."
Smith elaborated on this statement, explaining that Ayer has only given the actors information pertaining specifically to the character that he or she plays, withholding material covering all the others. Smith credits this to Ayer's desire to make things "come alive on set" by keeping his stars as in the dark as possible when it comes to character dynamics.
Misdirection and playing coy are major elements of Hollywood blockbuster promotion these days, so moviegoers would be justified if they chose to raise a few eyebrows at Smith's quote. Given that Ayer is aiming to start rolling the cameras on Suicide Squad about two months from the time of this writing, it seems unlikely that none of the principal players have seen a copy of the screenplay. Robbie stresses that there's no funny business going on, and the actors honestly don't know much:
"We don't know what our characters' relationship is really gonna be [because] it's ever-changing. We're not being secretive, we just actually don't know."
One aspect about Suicide Squad that has the potential to elevate it beyond your usual comic book movie fare is that it revolves around a team of wildly unpredictable villains that are forced to work together. With characters looking out for their own best interests, double-crossing and betrayals are sure to be part of the proceedings, so perhaps Ayer's approach will have some artistic merit. Ideally, the actors will be able to incorporate their limited knowledge of their fellow group members into their performances, injecting the film with a healthy dose of dramatic tension to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
The notion of Smith, who is best known for his hero roles, stepping into the shoes of a villain like Deadshot may seem odd to some casual moviegoers, but his filmography is sprinkled with morally ambiguous characters (Hancock, Focus) that are interesting to watch on-screen. Smith says that's part of what drew him to Suicide Squad, but even he who has experience with "dubious morals" still has some work to do to fill out this DC Comics part:
"I think I haven't explored the psychology enough of Deadshot, somebody who could take money to kill people; how he justifies that for himself. So, I still have a little bit of work to do on that."
Readers familiar with our introduction to Deadshot know that the character is much more than a mustache-twirling evildoer, and his compelling characterization is what makes him such a fascinating figure in the comics.
Between his traumatic origin, going through life with a death wish, and his code for dishing out justice, Deadshot presents a thespian of Smith's caliber with plenty of opportunities to deliver a layered and rich performance that can join the ranks of the genre's finest. Hopefully, he can figure everything out soon and give moviegoers something extra special when they sit down to see the final product.
Suicide Squad will be in theaters August 5, 2016.
Source: Flicks and the City