Ever since Disney faceplanted on the whole James Gunn debacle and let him go from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, fans have been wondering where Gunn would land. Other studios were clamoring to work with him and were reportedly offering him high-profile properties. Now it looks like Warner Bros. has come out ahead with The Wrap reporting that Gunn is in talks to write Suicide Squad 2 and possibly direct the superhero sequel.
You may recall that Suicide Squad 2 has had a pretty turbulent road thus far. The original movie was a modest hit, scoring $746 million worldwide off a $175 million budget. However, director David Ayer wasn’t brought back for the sequel and the studio started looking elsewhere. They landed The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor to write and direct back in September 2017. Then this past June, WB brought on David Bar Katz and Todd Stashwick to work alongside O’Connor on the script. But it also looked like O’Connor was moving on to reteam with Ben Affleck on the sports drama The Has-Been.
Now with Gunn in the mix, it looks like O’Connor is off the project entirely. There’s no word yet on who from the original cast would return for Suicide Squad 2, but bringing in Gunn is an incredibly smart move by Warner Bros. He has shown that he can write compelling stories featuring deeply damaged characters and still work within the confines of a PG-13 superhero movie. In a weird way, he’s kind of the ideal choice for this project assuming that Warner Bros. doesn’t take it away and try to recut it based on positive reaction to a trailer (which is what happened with the first Suicide Squad).
Io9 adds that Gunn will have “a completely new take on the property,” so it’s possible we could be looking at a new cast or a soft reboot of sorts that better situates Suicide Squad inside WB’s new vision for the DCEU (less connectivity, stronger individual stories). Either way, I’m curious to see if they’ll get Gunn to direct and if this new take on Suicide Squad will come to fruition.