James Gunn, having time on his hands after Disney fired him for a time, was tapped to write Suicide Squad 2 for Warner Bros., and will probably wind up directing too. The film will be a reboot, soft as it might be, giving Gunn the freedom to start over.
He will have his choice of who or what he wants in it since Will Smith bailed, which meant no Deadshot for him. But that’s OK. There are enough folks to take Smith’s place, and Idris Elba could. Beyond that, Gunn’s history with Marvel, Troma, and in horror make the prospects intriguing. His films, from Slither to Super, have grossness and subversive quality to them. Weirdness and disgusting body horror are his bread and butter so they might influence the direction he takes the film and who he brings into the fold.
Quite a few inhabiting DC lore possess dark and edgy attributes he can exploit to achieve the kind of big-screen spectacle he delivered for Marvel. If Gunn goes all-out the following names could help him push the envelope in just the right way.
Here are some unlikely folks we ought to see in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad. One, Steppenwolf…okay, just kidding but that almost happened.
Onto the real list. (Note these aren’t all names associated with Waller or SS. Some are ideal faces overdue for an appearance in the Extended Universe.)
Scarface and the Ventriloquist
When you hear Suicide Squad or Task Force X, you don’t think of Gotham’s dummy crime boss and his troubled puppeteer — at all. But, that’s the point. First appearing in Detective Comics in the late 80s, Arnold Wesker and Mr. Scarface are the most unorthodox duo yet to receive the proper live-action treatment.
What do they have to do with Amanda Waller or anybody involved? What does Cyborg have to do with Doom Patrol?! Understand? Any restart for the Squad and the DCEU as a whole can be as unpredictable as possible. And just think of the crazy fun James Gunn could have with Scarface, either up against Waller’s team or as part of it.
A few others have held the role of Ventriloquist over the years, so Gunn can tailor it to his heart’s delight and make him or her as unhinged as he wants. Just don’t forget the miniature Tommy gun.
Mitch Shelley is one of those 90s oddities strange enough to get Gunn’s attention, and he has boundless potential. His power depends on the life he’s living. That’s right! Every time he dies, he obtains a new ability, different from the last. And this roll of the dice has given him some outrageous situations — even turning him into a woman at one point.
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s cult character would’ve faded into obscurity had they not gotten the chance to give Shelley a definitive resolution during the New 52. He’s done battle with Task Force X, Vandal Savage, and Batman enough to show he can hang with the heavies.
Gunn could keep killing him as much as he wants and do something new each go-around. He might even make him a sensation in the process. If it doesn’t happen, Mitch’ll just keep dying until it does.
Died on Saturday, buried on Sunday, Grundy is DC’s best mindless killing machine — and so much more.
Solomon Grundy is another beloved baddie who’s been on the scene for decades. A gold standard of villainy, in his own right, and not to mention a stalwart in the ranks of the Legion of Doom, he is a go-to powerhouse that’s fought virtually every DC hero and gets around more than the most frequent flier.
Strong and practically unkillable but with a power level that’s not ridiculously above their pay grade (like Enchantress or Black Adam), he is a formidable opponent that could believably take on Task Force X.
Don’t think he is up to the task of carrying a story as a primary threat? Read a Red Tornado graphic novel called The Tornado’s Path and get back to me.
Here is one of the Squad’s staples we were cheated out of last time. The titanic killing machine most associated with Task Force X almost made the team in David Ayer’s 2016 movie, only to be swapped for Killer Croc, who has practically the same abilities and persona. Croc didn’t get the chance to do too much as it was, serving little purpose.
Shark’s absence was a glaring omission and he was sorely missed. It won’t be like that this time. Gunn would have a home on his Suicide Squad for King Shark and could make him a focal point similar to Drax or Groot in the Guardians.
And any argument about budget or make-up is bogus. If The Flash TV show can give us King Shark, a big-budget production should have no excuse.
Bronze Tiger, like King Shark, is one who isn’t just a member of the Suicide Squad; he IS the Suicide Squad. When you consider all the wasted opportunities by David Ayer, Tiger sticks out.
James Gunn doesn’t have to allow that this time. And if he doesn’t, odds are he will make Bronzie a full-blown catman in all his fierce glory. The visual wow factor is too irresistible.
Michael Jai White and his sporadic appearances on Arrow are the best, also only, portrayal of Bronze Tiger in live action. White can easily step in for motion capture and voice duties. Make it happen!
Last of the shapeshifting Green Martians, J’onn J’onnz has been represented well in DC’s Animated-verse and the Arrow multiverse via Supergirl, but not so in the DC Extended Universe. For all the shoehorning of characters and rushed connectivity in Dawn of Justice, a tease of Martian Manhunter, an OG Leaguer, was too much?
James Gunn, who is adept at writing interesting characters from other worlds, is the perfect one to bring J’onn to the big screen. The Martian would be a great covert agent. Oreos could even be a recurring gag that keeps on giving.
If DC is really getting “revamped,” get serious and shoot for Mars.
Does anybody else feel cheated all we got from Joe Manganiello as Slade Wilson was an after-credit stinger? He deserves better and so do we.
Wilson has been on both sides of the equation, fighting alongside and against the Suicide Squad depending on his agenda at the time. If the twist is good enough he could play both sides and be the villain until the halfway point.
From here, he can spin off into that stalled solo film. And it should happen so Manganiello can show everybody what he will do as this character we were promised Warner was going to develop as a centerpiece. Well, that’s up to Gunn now.
Who do you want to see in Gunn’s upcoming Suicide Squad movie?