Now that the dust is settling on Batman V Superman, lets talk about DC's next extravaganza, Suicide Squad. This is my most anticipated comic book movie of 2016, mainly because of Harley Quinn, my favourite character since the Batman animated series of the 90's; and I couldn't have wished for a better actress than Margot Robbie to bring her to life. Everything so far looks great!
These days, people are more interested in anti-heroes and vigilantes than clean-cut heroes, which would explain the much darker turn that characters like Superman and even Wonder Woman have taken in recent years. People want to see characters that, I suppose, are closer to real people, closer to us; people that make mistakes, can be selfish and sometimes just have a straight up 'screw you' attitude. It's more relatable. So the high anticipation of DC's latest comes at no surprise.
We have so far seen two very tonally different trailers; the first, revealed at San Diego Comic-Con in the summer of 2015, was very dark and looked as though it would be in keeping with the dark tone of Batman v Superman. The second, featuring Queens 'Bohemian Rhapsody', opted for something a little more light-hearted; the slogan of ‘Worst. Heroes. Ever’ let us know that this is something that won't take itself as seriously as BvS. With the recent popularity of characters like Marvel's Deadpool, it isn’t all that surprising that at least one DC flick perhaps leaning more in this direction as opposed to their usual no-fun tone. This also looks as though it’s following a little closer to DC’s New 52 than the classics. It’s great that they’re incorporating the new comic book universe onto the big screen. More recently however, it has been revealed that the more light-hearted and humorous take on the DC universe that this movie appeared to be, is not the movie that director David Ayer made. A source told birthmoviesdeath.com that "Every joke in the movie is in that trailer" and that the trailer did not represent the movie as it existed at that time. The response to the trailer apparently led to Warner Bros. requesting re-shoots to alter the tone of the film; to better present the one to which fans responded so well. These re-shoots are reportedly not small either, we're talking tens of millions of dollars big. Actor, Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), however, has since contradicted these claims. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Courtney said "I wouldn’t say we’re going back to make it funnier. There’s some additional action stuff that we’ve been doing, which is pretty dope. Really, we’re just kind of adding in that sense. You can't believe everything you read!" So, we'll just have to wait and see what the final cut turns out to be. One also has to wonder how this possible change in tone will affect future flicks in the DCEU. You can view both trailers below.
Now, the characters. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that we have actually seen enough of Katana, Slipknot, Cara Delevingne‘s Enchantress or Rick Flag to really tell what they’ll be like in the movie, but they’re all looking good so far. Will Smith looks like he’ll just be more or less playing Will Smith as he always does, so this gives us somewhat an idea of what to expect from Deadshot. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's a bad thing; Will Smith has never not done a good job, and I’m confident that this’ll be no exception (except for that cringy "suicide squad" line); El Diablo looks like he’ll be pretty crazy, Killer Croc looks like he’ll be DC's cinematic answer to the Hulk, except scarier and more sadistic; and Jai Courtney‘s Captain Boomerang looks like he’ll be one of the more humorous characters along with Harley.
Speaking of, the two characters we can talk about have been two of people’s main concerns; fan favourites, the Joker and Harley Quinn. Both have been somewhat controversial- not so much in their casting choices but in their design choices, with people comparing them to characters you'd find in an 'edgy teen' high school horror flick. These characters have been altered plenty of times through the years; especially Harley, who gets a new outfit about once every 12 months. I like that this is something a little different to keep them exclusive to the DC Extended Universe.
Jared Leto is an Oscar-winning actor, Leto brings his all to every role he has, and I never had any doubts about his ability to pull this off. When his look was revealed, however, the internet blew up with what seemed more a negative response than a positive one. Nobody said that the Joker MUST be wearing a fancy suit, though that is how he is most often portrayed. People also did and continue to express particular issue with the tattoos. I'd like to point everybody in the direction of the tattoed Joker of All star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder and, Grant Morrison's chilling, topless depiction of the character during his run. In fact, actor Jared Leto went to Morrison for advice on his portrayal. Personally, I like what Warner Bros. have done here. I’m completely open with different directions for characters, and I’m glad they went in this direction rather than trying to keep it close to Heath Ledger‘s Oscar-winning performance. People need to get over Ledger. Yes, he was amazing; he fit perfectly into the Nolan-verse, but this isn't the Nolan-verse. The same way that Jack Nicholson wouldn’t have fit into The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger probably wouldn’t have fit into this universe; and actually, the same controversy surrounded that casting choice that has been surrounding Leto’s portrayal. Thing is, Ledger was relatively unknown and had never taken on a role like that. Jared Leto is already very established with a large list of acclaimed roles. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like the 30 Seconds To Mars vocalist will give a good, if not great performance. The look may be new, but his voice, characteristics and personality seem to still be what we know and love; and even if the character was changed, we can still count on a great performance from an exceptional actor.
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn looks great. I also had no doubts about this casting choice. She has the look, her mannerisms are on point, and the voice sounds right (in a live action sense). Sure, it's less squeaky and seemingly less Brooklyn-accented than how the character traditionally sounds, but that’s okay; she sounds more real, less cartoony. The actress has really blown up in the last few years. Since her start in Hollywood in short lived period airline drama Pan Am, Robbie has starred alongside Will Smith in hustle-drama Focus and has proven herself worthy of bringing our clown princess of crime to life in 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. The only thing her character of Naomi was missing was the outfit and mallet, or baseball bat.
The super villain team is made up of mostly lesser known characters to more casual fans, and with 2016 looking to be the biggest year yet for comic book movies, lets hope that they don’t get out shined by the bigger stars. It would seem that everybody who follows comics or eagerly follows movies are very aware of this film, and with three A-listers in the line up, it’ll attract old and new fans alike.
Suicide Squad hits the big screens on August 5th.