James Gunn talks Suicide Squad sequel, ‘It just instantly started flowing’
Even though he’s got Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on the horizon, James Gunn is very excited to be working on The Suicide Squad. In an interview with Deadline, the first he’s given since being fired by Disney last summer, Gunn opened up on losing the Guardians franchise before getting hired back by Disney, and what it’s been like working with DC for his upcoming sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad.
“The Suicide Squad sequel, it just instantly started flowing,” Gunn said. “I don’t think I’ve had as much fun writing a script since maybe Dawn of the Dead. That’s what this whole movie has been like.”
Though a handful of cast members are returning for the sequel, due out in August 2021, The Suicide Squad will be a sort of soft reboot for the franchise. Both Jai Courtney and Viola Davis will return as Captain Boomerang and Amanda Waller, respectively. Margot Robbie is also rumored to reprise her role as Harley Quinn, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet. Idris Elba will portray a new character in the leading role, and David Dastmalchian is playing Polka-Dot Man while Daniela Melchior will portray Ratcatcher. WWE Superstar John Cena is also rumored to have a role in the film.
As far as temporarily losing The Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn admits he was most excited about being able to complete Rocket’s story arc, the Halfworld raccoon hybrid, voiced in the films by Bradley Cooper.
“When you asked me what was saddest for me when I thought it was gone, and anybody at Marvel can tell you, it’s this very strange and attached relationship to Rocket. Rocket is me, he really is, even if that sounds narcissistic. Groot is like my dog. I love Groot in a completely different way. I relate to Rocket and I feel compassion for Rocket, but I also feel like his story has not been completed. He has an arc that started in the first movie, continued into the second and goes through Infinity War and Endgame, and then I was set to really finish that arc in Guardians 3. That was a big loss to me—not being able to finish that story—though I was comforted by the fact that they were still planning to use my script.”
Overall, Gunn sounds grateful for the opportunities that came in the wake of his firing over the past several months, particularly the ability to learn from his mistakes.
The Suicide Squad will be out in theaters on August 6, 2021. Once production is wrapped, Gunn will happily return to the MCU for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which currently has no set release date. In the meantime, the Gunn-produced superhero/horror flick Brightburn opens in theaters on Memorial Day.