There was much made of DC's Suicide Squad before it had even released, thanks to the excellent marketing and the ever-prevalent tales of that wacky Jared Leto's on-set antics. Indeed the making of the movie itself sounds almost as mental as the final product, and there areplenty of tales to be told when it comes to insane trivia.
Sure, the critical response might look bleak, but at least the DC supervillains still top the box office for this weekend. In commiseration, here are our top 10 facts about Suicide Squad you might not have known.
1. Oh, Mista J!
The casting of Jared Leto as DC's most infamous villain, Joker, was met with some criticism, especially after the first images of the actor-turned-rock-star were released. But we nearly had a very different take on the Clown Prince, as Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling was initially considered for the role.
As reported by The Wrap back in 2014, Gosling was Warner's first choice to play Joker. Though the leading man was interested, he had to turn down the part as he was unwilling to sign a contract that would tie him into multiple movies.
2. A Little Off The Top
We've all heard by now the stories of shared tattoos between the cast and crew, but director David Ayer took an even more hands on approach when it came to certain fashion choices.
According to Margot Robbie the first day of filming on Suicide Squad turned into a lesson in hairdressing, as Ayer himself shaved off a part of Robbie's eyebrow for her Harley Quinn aesthetic. He also cut "two feet" of length from Karen Fukuhara's hair to prepare her for playing Katana, gave Leto his trademark Joker cut, and is responsible for the mess that was Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang beard.
And that's not the only hair-raising story from the set — both Leto and Jay Hernandez also shaved off their eyebrows for their roles as Joker and El Diablo. Leto, in order to make his Joker appear more unsettling and Hernandez because the nature of Diablo's powers meant that any hair on his body would be burned off when wielding his fire form. Nothing like committing to a role, I guess.
3. A Deadshot, And A Quick Study
Will Smith also went deep as part of preparing for his role as the gunslinging Deadshot, hanging out with Navy SEALS and Army Rangers while getting stuck in some pretty intense gun training. He also shaved his head, because body hair seems to be a taboo when it comes to Suicide Squad.
His past acting experiences don't make it all that surprising that Smith knows his way around a gun, but apparently he managed to impress even his instructors as part of his Deadshot training. Learning to handle both a Glock 9mm handgun and an AR-15 assault rifle, he proved to be a fast learner — and especially handy at long distance targeting with the AR-15. Lesson learned, don't mess with Will Smith.
4. Oprah Was Nearly A Villain
"You get a neck bomb, and you get a neck bomb — everybody gets a neck bomb!" Yep, American talk show host Oprah Winfrey was first considered for the role of fearsome Task Force X leader and all-round badass Amanda Waller.
We don't know whether Oprah passed on the role or was passed over, but this wouldn't have been her first rodeo, with the talk show host boasting an impressive filmography. The part did eventually go to the indomitable Viola Davis instead, and we're quite glad it did.
5. A Catty Connection
The song "You Don't Own Me" was featured in the film and the trailer, linking to Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. The version used on the Suicide Squad soundtrack was a cover by Australian singer Grace, but the original was recorded by the late actress and singer Lesley Gore.
There's a DC link here going all the way back to the 1960s, as Gore appeared in an uncredited role in "That Darn Catwoman" — a 1967 episode of the Adam West starring Batman TV series. She sang the song "California Nights" in this episode, playing a minor role as one of Catwoman's henchmen.
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6. Surprising Sex Toys
The stories of the strange gifts sent to co-stars by Jared Leto have been abundant — from the live rat he gifted his on-screen beau Margot Robbie with, to the dead pig he sent to the cast and crew. But you might have missed the story where he sent a love letter to co-star Karen Fukuhara in the form of sex toys and a signed porn magazine, as the actress told USA Today:
"He did give me some odd, interesting gifts — some sex toys and my first porn magazine. I got him to sign it as The Joker."
An unconfirmed report states that these were discovered by Fukuhara's mother, who was freaked out by the sudden discovery of her daughter's voracious sexual appetite. We bet that made for an awkward intervention.
7. Take My Breath Away
The scene where Batman (Ben Affleck) apprehends Harley Quinn during a high-speed car chase with Harley and Joker was a nice little piece of backstory detailing previous run-ins between the Clowns and the Bat, but it's also testament to the actress's lung capacity.
Speaking to Jimmy Kimmel on The Tonight Show last month, Robbie revealed that she learned to hold her breath for an impressive amount of time. Working with a professional free diver, Robbie learned to lower her metabolic rate to conserve oxygen, and by the end of their sessions she could hold her breath for five minutes. You can't argue that she didn't go all in.
8. Potato, Potahto
We all know Deadshot as the DC Universe's deadliest marksman, with his specially designed wrist-mounted firearms being his favorite and primary weapon. He's also proficient in a huge range of other weaponry — including grenades, rifles, automatic handguns and sniper rifles, which we see a run-down of during his introductory sequence in Suicide Squad.
But there was a little surprise included on his dossier list, which details the numerous weapons he's deadly proficient in. According to Suicide Squad, the DCEU Deadshot is also lethal with a flare gun, a musket and — most amusingly — the potato cannon. Don't tell us you're not imagining Will Smith fighting Ben Affleck with a potato right now.
9. From One Harley To Another
It's no secret that cult director and comic book fanatic Kevin Smith is a huge DC fan, having directed two episodes of CW's The Flash and an upcoming episode of Supergirl. In fact, he's such a big DC fan that he named his daughter after one of the Suicide Squad's main members: Harley Quinn.
After hosting the behind-the-scenes TV short Dawn of the Justice League, Smith was gifted with the baseball bat wielded by Robbie's Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad as a thank you. He gave the bat to his daughter — Harley Quinn Smith — and the reaction photo of her he posted to his social media is just adorable.
According to Smith, Harley "cried tears of joy for the next 2 hours." Looks like comic book love runs in the Smith family pretty hard.
10. A Muddy Concept
Suicide Squad could've been the big break for model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne, as she puts on her witchy pants to portray the villainous Enchantress inhabiting the body of archeologist Dr. June Moon.
She first met with David Ayer at a hotel in London before knowing anything about Suicide Squad, and her initial audition consisted of a conversation about evil women, addiction and mental illness. When next they met, she was asked to read a scene from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Ayer offered her the part before there was even a script finalized.
As a provision though, Ayer requested that Delevingne do one final thing to get herself in the mindset of Enchantress — namely, getting naked in the woods, as Delevingne told W Magazine:
"David asked me to go and try and find a forest and, if it was a full moon, get naked and walk through the woods with my feet in the mud, which I did. There wasn’t a full moon, but I howled like a wolf. It would have been really funny if someone had seen me."
The forest where Delevingne carried out her nighttime roamings was at her sister's country house in England, so at least it was private.