DCEU rumors have been coming out Non-Stop (see what I did there?) and the latest whispers suggest director Jaume Collet-Serra will be the man behind the camera for the untitled Suicide Squad sequel. The 43-year-old director may not have the lengthiest resume, but with films like The Orphan, Run All Night, and the critically, commercially successful shark horror, The Shallows under his belt ─ there's no denying that Jaume Collet-Serra could be the ideal fit for #SuicideSquad2.
A Shallow Budget is All He Needs
Gone are the days that require blockbuster films to have an excessive large ($100M+) budget, and the superhero genre is no different. An insanely large budget doesn't always equal success and a bad big budget film can leave a bitter taste in any fan's mouth ─ the #DCEU knows this as well as any company. Case in point, 2016's $350M critical flop Batman v. Superman. The critically panned extravagant creation did very little to satisfy both fans and critics alike ─ consequently leaving a black mark on the DC's infant universe. Suicide Squad was another highly anticipated film with big budget ($175M), but like its predecessor, it flopped critically. In fact, many believed the best versions of both movies were on the home video, delegated to extra features.
With that said, there are two recent examples of blockbuster box office superhero films whose budget, when combined, doesn't even exceeds that of Suicide Squad's ─ in #Deadpool ($58M) and #Logan ($97M). Despite their vastly lower budget, #Fox was able to churn out films that were both wildly profitable and critically acclaimed. Likewise, Collet-Serra experienced similar success with his latest movie The Shallows, a horror/thriller essentially only staring Blake Lively and a CGI Shark. With a B-Movie budget Collet-Serra's vision led to what many considered a captivating character driven story about survival ─ instead of your typical creature movie. DCEU fans can expect Collet Serra to bring those same qualities to the sequel and he wouldn't need an overblown budget to do so.
Shifting the Focus to Harley Quinn
The main attraction of Suicide Squad 2 will inevitably be #HarleyQuinn (Margot Robbie). #DC hasn't been shy about putting some major stakes on the former psychiatrist turned psychopath. In fact, in Suicide Squad issue #20 Harley Quinn took over as leader after the death of Rick Flag. Collet-Serra would be the perfect person to continue featuring Joker's former-sidekick-turned-leader of Task Force X. The House of Wax director has done a great job in featuring female leads as strong characters.
As a matter of fact, he did it with The Orphan (2009) which starred a then 13-years-old Isabella Fuhrman as Esther ─ an exceptionally bright orphan with a mysterious history who attracts (a.k.a. causes) carnage and death wherever she goes. Collet-Serra did something similar with The Shallows ─ a film that had an almost exclusive focus on the the female lead and her plight. In both cases viewers came away with the feeling that Collet-Serra's vision allowed them to get behind his main leads in a big way. Expect similar narratives to happen for Harley Quinn as she continues to make a big time impact.
Another Versatile Director for the DCEU
The DCEU Brain Trust ─ Jon Berg and Geoff Johns — made a wise decision with the formula that brought them critical and commercial success with Wonder Woman. Just like Patty Jenkins, Collet-Serra only has a handful of films under his belt, and he too could have the potential to turn his skill set into one of the highest grossing superhero film of all-time.
Whether it be horror movies like The Orphan, action movies like Non-Stop or a mystery suspense like Run All Night ─ Collet-Serra has proven he can adapt to his cast and writers. In the latter two films, while directing the brooding Liam Neeson, Collet-Sera was able to hook viewers into Neeson's softer side, making him more compelling and relatable. His ability to provide character depth is absolutely necessary with members of the Suicide Squad — a quality the first film severely lacked.
There has yet to be a release date for Suicide Squad 2, but one thing's for sure ─ we hope WB learned its lesson with rushing production. If not, it doesn't matter who they have behind camera, fans will still be disappointed if they have to wait for home video to see the good stuff.
Do you think Collet-Serra is qualified to direct Task Force X?