Beloved actor Nathan Fillion has been cast in an unknown role in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. This news comes as little surprise to fans of both Fillion and Gunn, as the actor and filmmaker are known to be close friends, and Fillion has made a habit of appearing in cameo roles in Gunn's films ever since starring in Gunn's directorial debut, the 2006 horror film Slither.
Fillion has danced on the line between mainstream success and cult cinema stardom for most of his career. He can currently be seen in the lead role of ABC's police drama The Rookie, and previously spent eight seasons playing the lead role of novelist Richard Castle on Castle. Yet Fillion's heart seems to lie among the science-fiction and superhero roles which have made him a popular figure on the convention circuit, and he's still fondly remembered by many for his portrayal of Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the series Firefly and the follow-up film Serenity.
Deadline reports that Fillion's role in The Suicide Squad is being kept under wraps. This suggests that his part will be more than a mere cameo, and may indeed be pivotal to the story, which Gunn is also keeping under lock and key. The only certainty is that Fillion is on Cloud 9 regarding the casting, being a well-known comic book fan who has been hoping to be cast in a MCU or DCEU film for some time.
Fillion almost made it into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in a series of mock movie posters, which would have cast him in the role of actor-turned-superhero Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man. He lent his voice to an alien prisoner in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, but has yet to play a superhero in a blockbuster film. Fillion has, however, become the official voice of Green Lantern Hal Jordan in the DC Animated Movie Universe, and played a number of original superhero characters in other projects. Chief among these were his performances as Captain Hammer in Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and a cameo as The Holy Avenger (a parody of the character Bibleman) in James Gunn's 2010 superhero-themed dark comedy Super. He also poked fun at his fanboy nature in an episode of the web series The Daly Show, where he and Superman voice-actor Tim Daly played versions of themselves who'd begun to think they were truly the superheroes they voiced.
Given this background, there's little doubt that Fillion is up to the task of playing a comedic superhero or supervillain in The Suicide Squad, though the question of who he's playing remains. One amusing possibility is that he could be playing the time-traveling hero Booster Gold, whom Fillion previously expressed interest in playing. With a script for a Booster Gold solo-film reportedly complete and awaiting the green light from Warner Bros., could this be a sneaky way of introducing the character into the DCEU and testing the waters for Fillion to headline his own movie while lending his star-power to his friend James Gunn? Time will tell, yet Fillion is sure to excel no matter what the role is revealed to be.
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