Last year, James Gunn was on top of the world. He had released Vol. 2 of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, which earned over $850 million, and had begun conceptualizing Vol. 3. Then, in a matter of seconds, the rug was ripped out from under him, after old inappropriate tweets of his re-surfaced. This caused Disney to remove Gunn from Vol. 3 and all ties to the MCU, much to the chagrin of several of his colleagues and fans. Shortly after, Gunn apologized for the inappropriate jokes, saying that he had grown since that time. That wasn’t enough to bring him back to the Marvel superhero franchise. Fortunately for Gunn, though, a new suitor with deep pockets and a superhero franchise in the making has surfaced, with eyes to have him to take the reigns on one of their budding IPs.
According to a report from TheWrap, James Gunn is in talks with Warner Bros. to write DC‘s Suicide Squad 2, and eventually direct the project.
It’s being said that Suicide Squad 2 will not be a direct sequel to David Ayer‘s 2016 all-villain film. Instead, Gunn would have carte blanche to have a whole new take on it. Whether that would mean that the cast of Will Smith (Deadshot), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), Jai Courtney (Boomerang), Jared Leto (The Joker), and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) would be recast or not remains to be seen. Although, the last two being ousted seem completely farfetched, considering WB’s committment to Leto and Robbie, especially with Robbie preparing to reprise Harley Quinn in Gotham’s All-female crime-fighting team-up, Birds of Prey. WB has said a few times that they aren’t finished with Leto’s Joker, even though they’ve been hard at work filming Joaqiun Phoenix‘s “Joker” film.
The move is a win-win for both parties, as Warner Bros. would get a talent with a proven track record of getting the most out of an ensemble, while delivering movies with a healthy balance of action and levity, as is indicative with both Guardians of the Galaxy films. At the same time, Gunn gets a chance to press reboot on his superhero film career with another ensemble franchise that far-exceeded expectations, as Ayer’s Suicide Squad made over $750 million on a $175 million budget.
While it may sound weird that WB wouldn’t just outright offer Gunn the directing gig, it does make sense. For starters, they probably want to see what he can come up with before they just hand him over Suicide Squad 2. Then, they also could be a bit gun-shy given the tumultuous situation they went through with Ayer and is reluctance to adhere to upper management. Or, and what I think is most likely, they are gauging fan interest with this announcement to see if a great majority backs this idea. If that is indeed the case, it wouldn’t be too long until the ink is drying on that contract.
As more news unfolds on the future of Suicide Squad 2 and James Gunn, we’ll bring it to you on Cinelinx.