When the cast of the [Suicide Squad](movie:2283363) was announced earlier this week, there was one glaring omission from the roster: Amanda Waller, the team's tough-as-nails founder. In the comics, Waller is the director of Cadmus, an agency built to take down any superheroes who stop playing nice with the government. She's ruthless, intelligent, and - as one of the most powerful humans in the DC universe - has crossover appeal written all over her (not unlike Marvel's Nick Fury).
With her intimidating badassery in mind, which actress has what it takes to lead an unpredictable troupe of criminals? According to the latest reports, there are three women on the shortlist:
Viola Davis, Oprah Winfrey, and Octavia Spencer
All these women have proven their acting chops, but Oprah is believed to be the one that studio execs are pulling for. On the surface, this choice makes perfect sense. Oprah certainly knows the ins and outs of running a business like an empire, and it would be fascinating (and potentially hilarious) to see her bark orders at some of the most terrifying villains out there. I'd imagine her opening scene would go something like this:
On the other hand, Viola Davis has proven herself to be one of the most engrossing and complex performers in recent memory. Seeing her get all up in the Joker's face would give me so much life. I mean, who else but Davis could make Batman balk like this? Answer: no one.
Waller was always a refreshing sight in the comic book world, a woman of color who is not young, thin, or sexualized. Her size was also never played for laughs or attached to some kind of superpower; she's simply a formidable woman who doesn't have time for anyone's shit. Following DC's "New 52" relaunch, however, Amanda Waller went from short and stocky to tall and lean – just like almost every other fictional woman to cross paths with superheroes. Back in November, there were reports that Kerry Washington would be playing Waller, a decision that would have maintained Waller's currently svelte figure.
Considering the reported options for the role, I've got to applaud Warner Bros. and DC for seeking an actress that looks like Waller's previous incarnations. In my opinion, a character who boasts "The Wall" as a nickname should not be played by a willowy model-type (no matter how many high-pressure scandals she can handle while rocking tasteful pantsuits). Whoever lands the role needs to embody this imposing moniker in personality AND appearance.
Assuming that Washington is officially out of the running, who do you think is the best candidate for Amanda Waller: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, or Oprah Winfrey? Let me know in the comments!