Everything We Know About The Suicide Squad So Far

The film is set to be released Aug. 6, 2021.

The Suicide Squad looks set to reboot the original Suicide Squad film’s story rather than being a sequel to the 2016 box office hit.

The production cycle for The Suicide Squad has been a bit different from what we are used to, even if it might seem pretty normal at first glance. On the surface, it is the planned sequel to a highly successful Hollywood blockbuster set for release in August 2021.

However, if you dig a little deeper, you will quickly see everything is not as it might seem. For one thing, this film shapes up to more of a soft reboot of the story rather than an actual sequel, which seems like an odd decision considering the original Suicide Squad raked in just shy of $750-million at the box office.

The Suicide Squad poster at DC FanDome

The reality is, despite its widespread success, the original film was plagued by problems pretty much from the get-go. Even though it was announced in 2009, director David Ayer was only brought on board in 2014 and was given just six weeks to write the script to hit the planned release date.

Warner Brothers even ordered some scenes to be re-shot as late as 2016, the same year it was released, because they wanted the film to feel more lighthearted. Once the film was released, it was almost universally panned by film critics, who found it sloppy, with a messy plot and choppy editing, most likely due to the army of editors used throughout the production process.

And yet, despite all of that, the film turned out to be a success — massive, runaway success, setting records all along its path. The movie is so huge that its impact has been felt throughout different media and industries. For instance, it also spawned spin-offs in the movie Birds of Prey and television series Peacemaker, starring John Cena.

The Batman Miniature Game: Suicide Squad board game released in 2018 is one more proof of how grand the movie is. Moreover, there is also an upcoming video game set for release in 2022 called Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. The movie has influenced the iGaming industry too, as many Canadian gambling brands such as BGO Casino feature the Suicide Squad slot game in their offerings.

Now, with all that as a backdrop, it certainly makes sense to create another Suicide Squad movie, and it makes just as much sense to start with a clean slate in the form of a soft reboot rather than carrying unnecessary baggage into the sequel’s production.

Idris Elba as Bloodsport

The new film’s premise is unsurprisingly very similar to the original, with imprisoned convicts being offered the opportunity to join Task Force X and be sent on an impossible mission in exchange for their sentence being reduced.

Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn, a former psychiatrist turned insane criminal personality and member of the Birds of Prey and the Suicide Squad. She even teased that one scene from the film was one of the most challenging sequences she has ever shot in her career as an actor.

“I don’t want to give it away. When you watch the movie, it’s probably about halfway through. There’s an insane sequence that Harley does which was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever shot onscreen. And we shot it in like four days and I remember looking at the schedule and being like ‘Oh my God, we’re not going to be able to do this. This is gonna be impossible.'”

Will Smith was initially touted to return as Deadshot but had to withdraw from the production due to scheduling conflicts. When Idris Elba was announced as a member of the cast for the sequel, most assumed he would just be replacing Smith as Deadshot, but this has not turned out to be the case. Instead, Elba will be playing Bloodsport’s role, written specifically for him by the film’s director James Gunn.

While Ayer was expected to return to direct the reboot, especially after the first film’s success, ultimately a difference in creative ideas resulted in him leaving the project. Ayer believed the movie should be R-rated, while Warner Bros was keen to keep hold of the first film’s lighthearted and comedic atmosphere.

Mayling Ng as Mongal with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn

Gunn wasn’t initially in the frame to direct The Suicide Squad because he was signed up with Marvel Studios and Walt Disney to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, he was temporarily removed from the project because of some controversial social media posts. This allowed Warner Bros to bring him in first as a writer and then sign him as a director in 2019.

Once the 54-year-old had taken on writing and directing duties, he decided to go in a different direction, taking inspiration from the 1980s Suicide Squad comic books written by John Ostrander and Kim Yale, rather than the modern comics Ayer was inspired by. This likely also played a large role in the film being done as a reboot rather than a full sequel, but, regardless, old school fans of the Suicide Squad should be very pleased.

Robbie and Elba will be joined by Cena as Peacemaker, and Sylvester Stallone has also been listed in the credits, although his exact role has not yet been revealed, while Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney and Viola Davis all return to reprise their roles from the original film.

Filming wrapped in February of 2020 and, with the post-production process well underway, the film looks well placed to hit its planned August 2021 release date, although there has been some friction there, too. In conjunction with its cinema release, The Suicide Squad will be available for a month, starting from its release day, on streaming service HBO Max (in the U.S.).

It’s been a wild ride since the concept for a Suicide Squad movie was first hatched way back in 2009 and, against all odds, there is no doubt the release of The Suicide Squad is one of the most hotly anticipated Hollywood films of 2021.

It will be interesting to see how this iteration of Task Force X is received by the critics that panned its predecessor but, more importantly, by the fans that made it one of the biggest superhero film releases of all time.