It is a case of kiss kiss, bang bang as Warner Brothers comes back for a second round of Suicide Squad madness. It looks like even review suicide can't stop David Ayer's squad from shuffling off the mortal coil. A Batcave full of news means that will have three continuations of the franchise. Alongside the official announcement of #SuicideSquad2 and #GothamCitySirens, it looks like #WarnerBros. is looking at a #Deadshot spin-off.
There is no denying that the mixed-bag of Suicide Squad was certainly helped by Smith's role as de-facto leader/all round misunderstood bad guy. Admittedly, there was a lot of Will Smith playing Will Smith, but that's what we pay to see anyway. Will it be a shot in the dark for the Fresh Prince centric solo, or can the studio gun down the competition?
Suicide Squad managed to successfully modernize Deadshot from his rather crappy origins as a masked socialite who first appeared in 1950. The character has had a resurgence thanks to his own limited run in 1988, a second series in 2005, and various appearances in the likes of the Suicide Squad and the Secret Six. But, we already know all this, and it doesn't need padding out into ANOTHER origin film.
Whether the film moves forward or back in time, we definitely don't need more Deadshot origins. Love them or hate them, Suicide Squad's character cards told us everything we needed to know. Also, the scenes in Gotham City of Deadshot being apprehended, and his time in Belle Reve, summed up how he got to where he is. We have already had that rehashed stereotype of a father trying to protect his daughter. However, moving forward, can the sassy merc really hold up a whole film on his own? There are certainly plenty of stories from Floyd Lawton's 67 years in the DCU.
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What Could We See?
Personally, a Deadshot film depends entirely on who else is in it. As a peripheral villain of the Batmanverse, it would make sense that either #Batman or the Joker appear at some point, but it is important that they don't detract from the overall Deadshottedness of Will Smith.
Batman: Cacophony - 2008's three-issue series sees Deadshot breaking in to Arkham Asylum after taking out a contract on Joker, only to be shot in the head by equally matched marksman Onomatopoeia. Presumed dead, Deadshot then teams up with Batman to take down Onomatopoeia and the Joker. There are a few problems with this, No.1 it is a Batman heavy tale, and No. 2 Joker is currently definitely NOT locked up in Arkham (for now). However, the idea of Deadshot facing off against an equal foe is a must include plotline.
Batman: Gotham Knight - The superb anime film Batman: Gotham Knight gave Deadshot his own self-titled section, showing how the villain can easily slot in among Batman. The expert marksman is hired to kill a corrupt mayor, then by the Russian Mafia to take out Batman. Returning to the whole "hitman for hire" is probably the best way to move forward, perhaps ending the film with a blundered attempt on Batman's life.
Arkham City - Rocksteady's Arkham games featured Deadshot in Arkham City and (briefly) in Arkham Knight, while Warner Bros.'s Games featured him front and center in Arkham Origins. The beat Deadshot story came from Arkham City, where Hugo Strange employed Lawton to assassinate political prisoners across the city, only to be apprehended at the very end by Batman. It was perfect at showcasing how a Deadshot story doesn't necessarily have to be monopolized by Batman.
Go For R
Then there is the tone. Suicide Squad was certainly all chuckles and pink unicorn teddy bears, so how about something darker? If this year has show us anything in cinema, it's go R-rated or go broke. Deadpool tore through the box office, while Logan looks like it's promising to do the same. Suicide Squad was at one point circling the idea of an R-rating, so perhaps Deadshot should aim for the same. The idea of an assassin isn't exactly child-friendly anyway, so I'd make it as bloody as possible. One idea that we could also see rear its head from the history of Deadshot is the issue of his son.
The original 1988 Deadshot series featured his son, Eddie Lawton, who only lasted one issue and had a pretty rough time. Kidnapped by known pedophile Wes Anselm to force Deadshot to carry out a contract, Anselm raped Eddie and accidentally killed him. In a similar fashion to the Bruce Wayne/Thomas and Martha deaths, it is this point that really turns Deadshot. You can't get much more R-rated than the rape and murder of a child.
Get It 'Write'!
Suicide Squad was notoriously short-handed with its writing, having only weeks to complete a script. If Warner Bros. is going to go ahead with Deadshot, at least they have plenty of time on their hands. According to the rumor mill, Gotham City Sirens is the project that is the furthest ahead, then Suicide Squad 2, then the idea of Deadshot. With David Ayer presumably tied up with Sirens, anyone could take to the helm of Deadshot — which is probably a good thing.
Given the number of films and character introductions we will see between now and when Deadshot goes into production, the whole DCEU landscape will be decidedly different. Deadshot has had dealings with everyone from Deathstroke to Bronze Tiger in his tenure, so it could literally go anywhere. As long as Will Smith is locked in, Warner Bros. can put big box office numbers firmly in their crosshairs.
Check out the Deadshot teaser from Suicide Squad, and don't forget our poll below!