Wednesday afternoon it was reported that Warner Bros. was courting Mel Gibson to helm Suicide Squad 2. Despite the title of this article I totally get it. Going through a bit of a career renaissance at the moment, he has impressed audiences and critics alike with a performance in Blood Father and directing Hacksaw Ridge, seemingly bringing him into Hollywood's good graces again. With an Academy Award nomination and a household name it is easy to see why a studio would get Gibson for one of their biggest franchises. However, he isn't the best name to helm a Suicide Squad film.
Ignoring politics and personal demons, he isn’t the best fit for the film. What Gibson excels at as a director are dramas with heavy action. Movies like Braveheart and Apocalypto have become certified classics because of it. I would even say that he might work if they went with the gritty vision David Ayer had with the first film but Gibson is hardly the director one would associate with the neon-tinted, pop-art stylings of the first film. Still, Gibson has confirmed that talks are going on, which is a shame because there are a ton of directors who would be a better fit. Merely a fraction of the talent, here are five directors better suited for Suicide Squad 2.
1. 'Deadpool' Director Tim Miller
Perhaps the most obvious pick is the director of one of 2016's biggest superhero movies, Deadpool's #TimMiller. Nabbed to be a director for an upcoming Terminator reboot is actually the perfect pick for Suicide Squad 2. All credit due to the writers, but Miller did a magnificent job balancing some hard-hitting action with the signature fourth-wall-breaking humor Deadpool is known for. I can easily see the same traits being transferred to DC's team of villains.
Proof It Would Work: The Freeway Shootout
One of the key scenes in Deadpool, it is a great showcase of Miller's directorial ability. On his way to save his girl, insane assassin Deadpool comes face to face with the mercenaries who took her. With only 12 bullets the Merc With A Mouth guns them all down. A highlight of the film, Miller is able to make a stylish gunfight without relying on CG. A funny scene with just enough grit to it, I could easily see this being a showcase for Deadshot.
2. 'John Wick' Director Chad Stahelski
Sure it's early in the year, but 2017 already has a contender for best action movie with John Wick: Chapter 2 and a big reason is director #ChadStahelski. Working solo as a director for the first time, he shows a real knack for action. Heavily influenced by the heroic bloodshed genre, he uses a lot of wide shots that really make it stand out — certainly a nice change of pace from the first Suicide Squad movie. It has been announced that he will be directing the Highlander reboot next, and that sounds great. However, if he ever gets into the superhero game Suicide Squad would be a perfect fit.
Proof It Would Work: Returning To New York
Set up by a former colleague, John Wick has to return to New York for revenge. Crossing the globe it is a montage of Wick facing off against an array of assassins. It's a fun scene that lets Stahelski stretch his movie-making muscle. What sticks out to me is his use of color. Illuminated by lights at night, the blues and whites are absolutely stunning. It's perfect for the world of Task Force X.
3. Horror Aficionado Adam Wingard
On the outset this may seem like an odd choice since Wingard is more known for horror movies like The Blair Witch and You're Next. What some might not know is that he was the director of the 2014 action thriller The Guest. More importantly, it is crazy good. With a cool and unique style, it's a modern take on a retro movie, with a sweet synthwave soundtrack to boot. Proving he is more than just scares, Wingard shows some major untapped potential in the world of superhero movies.
Proof It Would Work: The School Dance
One of the best showcases for Wingard might be one without much action. Trapped in an empty school, teens Anna and Luke are being stalked by David. With everyone else dead the two have to make their way through a corridor decorated for Halloween. While a bit more horror tinged than the rest of the movie, it is a perfect display of Wingard's ability to make a straight thriller. If The Guest is any indication, he should have been doing action movies from the beginning.
4. Action's Hidden Treasure James Nunn
While it's not the first place one would look, there is a lot of untapped talent in the VOD market. One of the most promising new directors on the scene has been #JamesNunn. Having mainly worked in the UK directing movies like Green Street 3: Never Back Down and Tower Block, he made a splash stateside with Eliminators. Eliminators features action star Scott Adkins (playing Thomas) and former WWE superstar Wade Barrett (playing Bishop) fighting all across London. Despite a small budget, it puts out similar vibes to movies like Run All Night thanks to good fight choreography, an eye for filming action and a clean and basic style. It may be a big adjustment for the director, but Nunn definitely has the skill to pull of such a huge blockbuster.
Proof It Would Work: Fight in the Sky
With Bishop on his tail, Thomas enters a cable car to escape. Passengers suddenly get a call where Bishop offers them £10,000 to knock Thomas out. What we get is an exciting fight scene in the cable car above London. While it sounds simple, it is an absolute blast. It's creative, it's action packed, it's just the kind of outside-of-the-box thinking a movie like Suicide Squad 2 needs.
5. '80s Legend Sylvester Stallone
Now, maybe it isn't Mel Gibson's skill that Warner Bros. finds appealing but the star power he brings. If that's the case, there is no better candidate than Rambo himself, Sylvester Stallone. If Gibson's best movies are heavy dramas, Stallone is a specialist in cheesy action. Sure, Rambo and The Expendables won't win an Oscar, but they are great as explosive spectacles. If Warner Bros. want someone who knows his way around a big budget action movie, there is no better choice than Sylvester Stallone.
Proof It Would Work: Rambo Goes H.A.M.
With most of the mercenaries captured by Tint and his soldiers it is up to Rambo to save them. The whole thing is a bloody massacre, but that's not why I choose to highlight it. The direction itself is absolutely stellar. Stallone is one of the few directors who is able to do the shaky camera style without ruining the final product. In fact, it adds a grittiness to the film it wouldn't have otherwise. This kind of stylized carnage would be perfect for the climax of Suicide Squad 2.
In Squad We Trust
These are just a few choices for directors for Suicide Squad 2. There are others like Paul W.S. Anderson, Doug Liman and John Hyams who would be stellar as well. And in all honesty, Mel Gibson could be great for the movie. He's a good director and far from the best choice. There are just so many options out there that an action lover like me can't help but ask — with all respect to Marvel — What if?
Who would you like to see helm Suicide Squad 2? What would you like to see in the sequel? Let me know in the comments below!