The Suicide Squad: Everything We Know (So Far) About James Gunn's Reboot

Although 2016’s Suicide Squad was met with a mixed reaction from fans and an overwhelmingly negative reaction from critics, it went on to gross $746 million at the worldwide box office, so Warner Bros. unsurprisingly didn’t wait too long to start development on a follow-up.

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The next Suicide Squad movie, titled The Suicide Squad, is set for a 2021 release. David Ayer, the director of the original, is not returning, and neither are a lot of the ensemble cast. The DCEU producers have been pretty tight-lipped with plot details, but a picture of a very interesting movie indeed is starting to take shape. Let's take a look at some of the details we do know about the project right now.

10 Idris Elba will star

Idris Elba in Luther BBC America

Idris Elba has been cast to star in The Suicide Squad, although his role has yet to be disclosed. Initially, it seemed as though he was replacing Will Smith in the role of Deadshot. However, it’s since been revealed that Elba will be playing a different character to allow Smith to return as Deadshot in a possible future movie in the DCEU.

Still, like Deadshot, this character’s relationship with his daughter will be important (Storm Reid has been cast to play her). This won’t be Elba’s first comic book role, as he previously played Heimdall in the MCU. However, since Heimdall was killed off in Avengers: Infinity War, the actor is free to take a role in DC’s rival franchise.

9 It’s being written and directed by James Gunn

Oreo Raccoon James Gunn

James Gunn, the writer-director behind the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy movies, has been hired to provide the script and get behind the camera on The Suicide Squad. Gunn was tapped for the project after he was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 by Marvel Studios, before he was subsequently rehired.

This has meant that the release of the third Guardians movie has had to be pushed back by Marvel, likely causing a major reshuffle in Phase 4 of the franchise. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by many fans that Gunn is the real winner in his unfortunate firing/rehiring drama.

8 The Suicide Squad is set to be released on August 6, 2021

The release date for The Suicide Squad has been set by Warner Bros. for August 6, 2021. This will place it in the same late-summer release frame as the first one, which hit theaters on August 5, 2016. On its current release date, The Suicide Squad will face competition from Space Jam 2 and Mission: Impossible 7, which will be released a couple of weeks prior.

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Then, the following week, it will take on an as-yet-untitled movie from the horror hit factory that is Blumhouse. On the whole, it seems as though it should be safe from any major competition.

7 It’s unclear if it’ll be a sequel or a reboot

James Gunn on Brightburn set

James Gunn will not confirm whether The Suicide Squad is a sequel or a reboot. There’s a chance that it’ll be a combination of the two – a sequel in the sense that it’s set in the same world as the first one and follows on from its plot, but a reboot in the sense that it’ll be starting again as a second try at a Suicide Squad film franchise.

If it is a combination of the two, then it’ll likely be the first of its kind. It could be called a “requel.” It’s officially being described as a “relaunch” by the DCEU’s producers.

6 The Suicide Squad has a mostly new cast

The Suicide Squad features a mostly new team. It doesn’t have new actors playing the characters from the original; it has new actors playing new characters to replace the actors and the characters from the original. That still leaves the door open for the characters from the original to return someday.

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn – the only part about the first one that fans and critics alike enjoyed – has been confirmed to return, as have Captain Boomerang, Rick Flag and Amanda Waller. However, they’re the only four cast members from the original movie who are slated to come back for the sequel/reboot.

5 James Gunn has brought some of his MCU cohorts aboard

Taika Waititi in What We Do in the Shadows

Director James Gunn isn’t the only MCU mainstay leaving Marvel behind to hop on the DC train with The Suicide Squad. Aside from Elba, he’s also bringing with him Ant-Man star David Dastmalchian, who will portray Polka-Dot Man, and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi (who also voices Korg) in an as-yet-secretive role.

RELATED: 5 Guardians Of The Galaxy Actors We Want To See In James Gunn's The Suicide Squad (& 5 We Don't)

Gunn has also brought on a couple of actors from his Guardians of the Galaxy films to appear in The Suicide Squad. Benicio del Toro is in talks to play the villain and Nathan Fillion, who cameoed as an alien in the first Guardians movie, has been cast in an undisclosed role.

4 It’ll have a prominent soundtrack, but not like the Guardians movies

Thanks to Peter Quill’s mixtapes, fans of James Gunn have come to expect a prominent soundtrack featuring some pop classics in his movies. According to Gunn, The Suicide Squad will be just as music-heavy as the Guardians movies, but with a very different feel.

RELATED: 10 Best Songs Used In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Movies, Ranked

When a fan asked the director over Twitter if The Suicide Squad would place as much importance on its music as the Guardians films, he replied, “Music is an incredibly important part of all of my films, both soundtrack and score. So, yeah. But it will be a lot different than Guardians, musically.” In short, don’t expect “Awesome Mix Vol. 3,” but do expect some incredible tunes.

3 Peter Capaldi has been cast in a supporting role

Peter Capaldi as The Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi, known to sci-fi fans for playing the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor on Doctor Who and to comedy fans for playing the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, has been cast in The Suicide Squad.

It hasn’t been announced who Capaldi will be playing, but he’s said that his character is “completely bald,” which has DC Comics fans speculating like crazy about who he might be playing. Of course, the most obvious bald character in the DC universe is Lex Luthor.

2 John Cena and Pete Davidson are in talks to appear

The cast for The Suicide Squad apparently hasn’t been finalized yet, as the producers continue to meet with actors well into production. It’s been reported that John Cena is currently in the midst of negotiations over the role of Peacemaker, a bulky, tattooed badass who rides a motorcycle (making it the perfect character for Cena to play).

Plus, Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson is under consideration for a role following unanimous critical praise for his turn in the delightful Big Time Adolescence. Davidson’s star continues to rise after several years on SNL, with an upcoming semi-autobiographical movie he’s working on with Judd Apatow.

1 King Shark will appear in The Suicide Squad

King Shark in DC Comics

It seems obvious that James Gunn is going for a decidedly wackier tone with The Suicide Squad, based on the fact that he’s cast comedian Steve Agee to voice King Shark.

As his name would suggest, King Shark is a monstrous supervillain with the head and teeth and bloodlust of a great white shark, but with rippling muscles and clawed hands, making him even scarier (and more ridiculous) than your average shark. Agee’s portrayal of the character will be the first time he’s appeared on the big screen, although he has been featured in The CW’s The Flash TV series.

NEXT: Suicide Squad: 10 Things It Actually Did Well

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