Anticipation is at boiling point ahead of the eagerly awaited release of one of the sure to be hits of the year, Suicide Squad. Ever since we were first teased with a short clip at Comic-Con 2015 and a first look at The Joker's new-look, silver clad, gangster-esque grill, excitement has been rife. Fast-forward a year, now with more trailers and fan-theories than you could shake Harley Quinn's baseball bat at we are now less than a week away from its cinematic release. But among all this excitement of seeing the new-look Joker, and the chance to see the exuberant Harley Quinn in action. Are we neglecting the chance to get excited about the other squad members? (In all honesty, I hadn't heard of half the 'squad' before the cast list was announced). All members of ‘Suicide Squad’ are taken from the DC universe. Here's a look at them and their criminal backgrounds:
Played by: Margot Robbie
Abilities: Highly intelligent, exceptional agility/strength, excellent hand to hand combat.
Formerly known as Dr Harleen Frances Quinzel. Dr Harleen was a budding psychiatric intern at Arkham Asylum. Not only this, she was a model student, high-level gymnast and all round, admirable young lady. Quinn however became infatuated with one particular in-mate, you guessed it, the clown prince himself, The Joker. As with a lot of people, the Joker likes to leave his mark and he saw an easy prey, seducing Quinn to the point she fell madly in love with him. After being caught helping the Joker escape she was eventually put in a cell herself, joining those she once studied. During an earthquake that ripped through Gotham City, Quinn escaped Arkham and thus forth became the sidekick of the Jester of Genocide.
Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Quinn will be the first of its kind on the silver screen. By the look of the trailers/TV spots Quinn is the standout character and it looks like we’re likely to get a glimpse of that twisted relationship her and the Joker have/how it began, with flashbacks teased. Speaking in a recent interview, Robbie stated “Their relationship is nuts. She's co-dependent with the Joker, and when you see that, you start seeing it as a mental illness." Looks like we’re in for a no holds barred nut fest!
Played by: Will Smith
Ability: Master marksmen (a deadshot), expert assassin, advanced hand to hand combat.
Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot made his first appearance in the DC universe in Batman #59 (1950). After failing to take over as kingpin of Gotham’s underworld, Deadshot joined the Suicide Squad. His main motivation for joining the squad: money? Power? Guess again, he strives to die in a spectacular way, he feels no reason to continue to live but does not want to commit suicide and simply does not care if he dies (Deep, I know). His strong espionage skills, along with his ‘deadshot’ make him an invaluable asset to taskforce X.
Like, Harley Quinn this is Deadshot’s first trip onto the silver screen. But it is not Will Smith’s first dabble into the world of super-heroism. Hancock (2008) offered Smith as an original cinematic superhero. Now he tries his hand as a villain, with Deadshots callous attitude and the bad ass demeanor Smith always brings to his roles, we’re likely to see a true nefarious antihero.
Played by: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Abilities: Superhuman strength, durability and senses, reptilian teeth, claws and scale-like skin, regenerative healing factor.
Killer Croc’s story seems to be the most heart-wrenching of all. Born Waylon Jones and with a dreadful medical condition called: *takes deep breath* Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, basically his reptile-esque appearance. It gets worse for Waylon; he was left in the care of his not so pleasant aunt. With no friends, a young life of crime led to an 18-year prison stint for murder. Upon release, Jones joined a freak show as a ‘alligator wrestler’ by now his disease had worsened but his strength had greatly surpassed that of a human and he realised he could use this strength to his advantage and so his life of crime began and his feud with the bat was launched.
Played by: Cara Delevingne
Powers/Abilities: Unlimited magical powers, directly affect inanimate objects using magic.
Similar, to her criminal colleague Harley Quinn, Enchantress used to be a young, innocent bystander of society. Enchantress, was granted magical powers by a strange magical being in a haunted castle, which allowed her to switch from her real self (June Moone) to powerful super-witch (Enchantress). This same mystical being, empowered her initially to fight evil. But like the terrible superheroine she is, she decided to use her powers for the opposition (why do they always do that?).
Portrayed by the model, turned actress Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns). In preparation for the role, Delevingne went much further than just reading the lines off the script. She went full on deranged-sorceress style by wandering through the woods naked. This was before she’d even landed the part. Speaking in an interview Delevigne said “One of the first things David (David Ayer, Director) said was ‘Go to the forest, hopefully under the full moon – naked and feel what that feels like.’ And I was ‘This is f****** awesome. OK, I’m going to do that.’”
Played by: Joel Kinnaman
Abilities: Expert in special forces, military and guerrilla tactics. Expert in armed and unarmed combat. Stealth, surveillance and infiltration expert.
Son of Rick Flag Sr a WWII hero and former head of the first Suicide Squad. Rick Flag is an elite solider who began his military career as a fighter pilot. After a tragedy which wiped out his entire unit, he began completing suicide missions. Rick Flagg is the leader of the suicide squad; his military background will be key to keep the rest of the team in check.
Unlike the rest of the Suicide Squad, Rick Flag is the only non-criminal and has been put in charge of the team to ensure they don’t get out of hand during the high-risk missions. Given the team is made up of super-criminals, not to mention the psychotic clown running around the city. I think it’s safe to say his hands will be more than entirely full.
Played by: Jai Courtney
Abilities: Uses a wide variety of gimmicked boomerangs.
George Harkness aka Boomerang started his criminal career, not on the cold hard streets of Gotham City, but the lowly suburban town of Kurrumburra, Australia. After being sent packing by his parents, he found his way into Arkham after a number of high-profile robberies using the aboriginal device as his weapon.
Similar to his criminal colleague Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Jai Courtney took a rather unorthodox method in preparation for the role. According to a recent interview, The Australian actor told the magazine that he was on a Skype call with director David Ayer when he experimented with drug use and self-harm to get into character. “That night I happened to eat some mushrooms,” said the actor. “I did self-inflict some burns.” Interesting, to say the least.
Played by: Karen Fukuhara
Abilities: Superb martial artist, fully trained samurai warrior, Soul-taker sword grants: Ability to capture the soul of every being it kills and communicate with that soul, including that of her deceased husband.
After the brutal death of her husband at the hands of the Yakuza. Samurai master Tatsu Yamashiro travelled to America to become a hero vigilante known as Katana, with a goal to free the souls of those trapped in her mystical sword; Soul Taker.
What’s interesting about Katana is that she’s meant to be a hero, not a villain. She simply volunteered to be in the Suicide Squad, why? I have no idea. The actress Karen Fukuhara had this to say about it: “She’s the protector of Rick Flag,” Fukuhara explained, “So I’d like to think she’s still one of the only characters that’s so called good or heroic.
Played by: Adam Beach
Abilities: Highly trained in the violent use of ropes; used to hang, maim, hold or otherwise attack his enemies. He is also an expert assassin, can kill a target swiftly and silently.
From his time working in a chemical plant, Slipknot aka Christopher Weiss developed a formula for durable ropes that were supposedly as strong as metal. Weiss then decided to use his new found invention to commence his life of crime. In the comics, Slipknot finds his way into Arkham by attacking superhero Firestorm.
Played by: Jay Hernandez
Abilities: Pyrotechnic powers.
Chato Santana was an utterly ruthless, powerful leader of a street gang in LA that gained pyrotechnic powers through an encounter with Lazarus Lane. After learning a rival gang had been selling on his turf without giving him a cut, Santana went to collect his debt with his new found powers in tow. After torching the building, he realised it wasn’t just gang members present in the building, but women and children were among the victims. Shrouded in guilt, Diablo handed himself into custody.
Played by: Jared Leto
(Not actually in the Suicide Squad but can’t leave this guy out can we?)
In case you needed reminding. The Joker is a homicidal, psychopathic, ruthless, sadistic, manipulative, intelligent and diabolical master criminal who wants nothing but chaos and anarchy wherever he goes, as well as revelling in the suffering of others. Not to mention, he’s the arch-rival of the caped crusader himself, Batman.
The Joker's first appearance came in issue #1 of the Batman comics. The psychotic, clown-like villain has seen an excellent transition from comic book to our screens, growing into possibly the greatest super villain of all time. Most notable performances being Jack Nicholson (Batman, 1989) and the late Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight, 2008) the latter receiving a posthumous Oscar for his efforts. Now, it's Jared Leto's crack at the role. How will this go down? Well according to reports, Leto, speaking at a concert for his band 30 Seconds to Mars was quoted saying "I can’t wait for you to see this – they’re going to lock me away in a box after this movie comes out." Seems as if insanity is going to be the name of the game.
Suicide Squad has one of the most interesting character lineups in recent times, although we've been treated to multiple trailers and promos, there is still a gigantic cloud of uncertainty over the film. What paths will the characters take? Will they all play ball? What role will Jared Leto's Joker play in all this? I'm not so sure, but one things for sure, expect chaos.