In 2016, Warner Bros. is releasing two DC movies. First up is [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870), whose titular characters everyone has heard of. Later that year, though, audience goers will be treated to a different kind of comic book film. Suicide Squad, set for release on August 5, 2016, will follow a group of supervillains that are coerced into going on dangerous missions. That’s right: it won’t be a superhero headlining this film – it’s a group of bad guys! The Suicide Squad has been an important presence in the DC Universe since writer John Ostrander revitalized the group in the 1980s, and now they’re getting a chance to shine in the DC Cinematic Universe.
The Suicide Squad has appeared in a variety of media, such as Justice League Unlimited, Batman: Assault on Arkham and Arrow, but this will be their first theatrical appearance. Here’s our handy guide on everything you need to know about the film, from its basic premise to all the major players. Read on to get the details!
The specific plot for the movie hasn’t been revealed yet, but we can expect the basic premise from the comic books to be the same. The Suicide Squad, officially designated Task Force X, is a secret team of supervillains that have been imprisoned by the United States government. The team undertakes high-risk missions for the government in exchange for amnesty. If they succeed in their mission, they live to fight another day, but if they fail, the government can just write them off. Hence the nickname "Suicide Squad." Team members also have micro bombs implanted inside them, which can be detonated if they try to escape or cause trouble during the mission. In summary: the supervillains are expendable assets that are sent on missions that no one in their right mind would ever agree to willingly. This could easily be an R-rated film, but because it’s part of the DCCU, it will probably earn a hard PG-13 rating. Lots of action and violence, but not too gory.
It was announced back in September that David Ayer will helm [Suicide Squad](movie:2283363). Ayer is most famous for directing films like Street Kings and End of Watch. This year saw the release of his World War II drama Fury, which followed tank operators during the final days of war in Europe, as well as the cop drama Sabotage. Ayer will also be writing the screenplay. His previous writing credits include Training Day, The Fast and the Furious and S.W.A.T. As you can tell, his resume is primarily based around action movies, so he seems like an ideal fit for this film – which is sure to be filled with intensity and high stakes.
While it remains only a rumor at this point, with the character not yet mentioned in any official announcement about the film, it’s been heavily suggested that Suicide Squad will have a direct connection back to the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice through Lex Luthor. We first heard about this back in October, when it was reported that Jesse Eisenberg was in discussions with Warner Bros. about reprising the supervillain character. It may be a while before we get anything firm on this subject, as the Luthor’s mere presence in Suicide Squad could wind up being a spoiler for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so we’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out.
In 2016, Jared Leto will become the fourth person to play Batman’s greatest enemy on the big screen, following in the footsteps of Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. We don’t know yet how Leto will be playing this version of the Clown Prince of Crime, but he has enough experience playing unusual roles that this will a doable challenge. This is the guy who underwent stunning transformations in films like Chapter 27 and Dallas Buyers Club. If we’re lucky, he’ll disappear into the role of Joker just like he did with Mark David Chapman and Rayon.
Although he’ll be appearing in the film, it’s unclear whether Joker will actually be a part of the team or serve in another capacity. One possibility is the the team will be sent to assassinate him. This might prove a problem if Harley Quinn is involved, although if they’re in a spat at that time, she might have no problem offing "Mistah J." Other possibilities include him advising members of the team in a Hannibal Lecter-type scenario or just for setting up Harley Quinn before she’s inducted into the Squad. Or maybe it’s a rescue mission!
She was created specifically for Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, and 24 years later, Harley Quinn is finally making her live-action film debut. Originally a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, Dr. Harleen Quinzel was corrupted by The Joker and became his assistant/girlfriend. Although Harley has primarily been a Batman character, recent years have seen her branching out into other corners of the DC universe. It was during the New 52 that she was added onto the Suicide Squad, and she’s been one of its primary members ever since.
Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie will play Harley, and as you can tell from the picture above, she looks just like the insane jester without her clown makeup. Let’s just hope she can pull off Harley’s high-pitched Brooklyn accent. Harley’s only other live-action appearance was in the short-lived TV series Birds of Prey, and it’s probably best that we forget about that.
In order to keep this team of villains in check while in the field, you need a disciplined soldier leading that charge. That’s where Rick Flag comes in. A former Special Forces operative with a strategic mind, Flag has led several iterations of the Suicide Squad during the decades. He’ll do whatever it to make his country proud, even if it means having to work with these detestable villains. Flag has appeared in shows like Justice League Unlimited and Smallville, as well as the animated movie Justice League: The New Frontier.
Tom Hardy will portray Rick Flag in Suicide Squad, making this his second DC Comics role - the first playing the always-fun-to-imitate Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. He’s gone from being a terrorist set on destroying a city to an all-American soldier protecting the United States. Quite the ironic shift in comic book roles
Of all the Suicide Squad members, Enchantress is the arguably the least well-known. In the comics, June Moore was a normal teenage girl who was at a costume party at the Terror Castle. After discovering a secret passage, she finds a demon who tells her that she’s going to become a mystical hero. When she says the word "Enchantress," she transforms into a black-haired, costumed hero with magical abilities. However, despite the demon’s proclamation, June’s mind eventually snapped, and she became a criminal. This led to her joining the Suicide Squad, as she believed they would be able to help her keep the villainous side in check. Fun fact: Marvel Comics also has their own super villain named Enchantress, though that version is an Asgardian who loves to screw around with Thor.
Enchantress will be played by actress/model Cara Delevingne, who was originally rumored to play Harley Qunn before the official cast was announced. The English model’s previous work includes Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and The Face of an Angel. She’ll next be appearing on the big screen alongside Hugh Jackman in 2015’s Pan, playing a mermaid.
George "Digger" Harkness became a skillful boomerang thrower while growing up in Australia. He originally used this talent as a performer, but later started committing crimes. Although he’s been a frequent adversary of The Flash, Boomerang is also well-known for being a regular member of the Suicide Squad. In the early Suicide Squad stories from 1980s, his personality and racist comments often drew the ire of his teammates. He also had a tendency to sit back and watch when things get ugly out in the field, happy to just watch the mayhem. The movie may tone down these attributes in favor of showcasing his expertise with the unusual projectile weapons, although it’s possible he could end up providing some of the lighter-hearted moments too.
Warner Bros. has wisely picked an Australian actor to play Boomerang. Jai Courtney, whose work includes Divergent, A Good Day To Die Hard and the upcoming Terminator Genisys, will portray the villain in Suicide Squad. This is the second live-action portrayal of the character following his recent appearances on Arrow, where he was portrayed as former Task Force X agent and was played by Nick Tarabay.
If there’s one supervillain whose name pops up frequently when the Suicide Squad is mentioned, it’s Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot. He is one of the most notorious assassins in the DC Universe, claiming to never miss his target. He is visually recognizable by his cybernetic eye-piece, which boosts his accuracy and displays information for him. Once he’s paid, Deadshot will carry out a hit no matter what circumstances come his way. He also has a death wish. While he won’t outright commit suicide, he wants to leave this world in a spectacular fashion, which is why he frequently places himself in dangerous situations. Sounds like a perfect candidate for the team, no?
Deadshot will be played by Will Smith, making it one of the few times that the actor has taken on a villain role. While it’s practically guaranteed that Smith will be wearing the eyepiece, hopefully they’ll also have him don the silver mask from the comics as well. Superhero movies have a tendency not to cover a main character’s face for long (i.e. Spider-Man being frequently unmasked), but David Ayer and Warner Bros. should at least let Will Smith where the full Deadshot mask while missions. After he’s done, he can peel it off and relax. The character has also appeared on Smallville and Arrow.
Amanda Waller, nicknamed The Wall, is the woman in charge of the Suicide Squad. Originally a congressional aide, she has been the director of several agencies in the DC Universe, most recently A.R.G.U.S. (Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans). Despite not having any superpowers, Waller has proven herself a worthy adversary not to be trifled with. Her tactics may be drastic, but she’ll do whatever it takes to protect the United States from harm, whether it involves taking out a supervillain or neutralizing a superhero she believes to be a threat. As for the Suicide Squad itself, Waller only sees the team members (excluding Flag) as expendable assets. She won’t hesitate to eliminate any of them if she thinks it’s necessary for the mission. Think of her as a way more ruthless Nick Fury.
Viola Davis, known from projects like The Help and How To Get Away With Murder, has been rumored to play Waller in the film, though the casting has not been made official just yet. This will be Waller’s second- live-action appearance after being played by Angela Basset in Green Lantern. She has also been a recurring character on Arrow and Smallville.