Before the world learned of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ ambitious plans for their DC Movie Universe, we were hard at work trying to write up features explaining why the respective heroes (or teams) of DC Comics’ lore could be adapted into big (and successful) blockbuster films.
In the past, we’ve covered why heroes like Aquaman, Shazam, Wonder Woman, The Flash, or even The Justice League all deserve shots at big screen success. However, with the recent confirmation of a Suicide Squad movie coming after Batman V Superman, it’s time we stepped back and took a look at the 5 Reasons why Suicide Squad could be a great DC superhero supervillain movie.
5. The (Under)World
Between DC and Marvel, we have almost too many superhero films coming out between now and 2020 – but blessed few of them will offer fans anything different from than the usual “ordinary person becomes extraordinary,” or “greater threat requires assembly of a greater good” formulas that currently rule superhero movies. However, Suicide Squad can be a welcome exception by switching the usual perspective to show us how villains operate within the fantastical world of comic book movies.
For those unfamiliar, Suicide Squad is a team with a rotating membership of DC Comics’ villains – both minor and major – who are coerced into high-risk black-ops missions by the government (controlled by their Machiavellian handler, Amanda Waller). That basically means that a film following such a team would be deeply rooted in the DC Comics underworld – a place that no live-action film has ever explored, but was probed by a well-received animated feature, Batman: Assault on Arkham, which not-so-coincidentally featured the Suicide Squad.
Between the Deadpool movie being green lit at Fox; the development of a Sinister Six movie within Sony’s Spider-Man franchise; and even Star Wars rumors pointing to a Boba Fett spinoff film, it’s clear that villains (let’s call them anti-heroes) are becoming a part of these shared universe franchise plans – and DCE/WB may beat them all to the punch.
It doesn’t get much dirtier, deadlier or more dastardly than the Suicide Squad – and the proven power of films set in the underworld (crime, not supernatural) speaks for itself.
4. The Tone
Following closely on the benefits of giving superhero movie fans a chance to see things from the bad guys’ perspective, is the outlook and tone that such a change in perspective creates.
It’s no mistake that DCE and WB tapped writer/director David Ayer to helm this film; between hard-boiled crime stories like Training Day, Street Kings and Harsh Times – plus bigger action-thriller blockbusters like S.W.A.T. and the recently-released Fury – Ayer is practically tailor-fitted to material like this. With his name attached, fans are already expecting something thrilling, raw, gritty, and violently brutal – as is fit for a team of ruthless psychos, assassins and killers.
For those who think Marvel Studios is making kiddy fluff; or that somber and serious is a mismatch for Justice League heroes like the Man of Steel; well, Suicide Squad could be the film that delivers the appropriately dark and adult comic book movie experience you’ve been waiting for. Just leave the kids at home, because this will not be their movie…
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3. The Story
As mentioned in some of the previous items, Suicide Squad offers DCE/WB opportunity to do something wildly different in the superhero movie genre – and those possibilities aren’t limited to the world or tone of the film.
While Captain America: The Winter Soldier was crafted as a political thriller on top of a superhero movie, we have yet to really see an espionage heist movie melded with the genre. At one time we thought that Edgar Wright’s version of Ant-Man would fill that void; however, the new version being directed by Peyton Reed seems more like a traditional origin story. Suicide Squad traditionally reads like Mission: Impossible with supervillains – and that logline alone has us interested in what this film will offer audiences.
With villains as your protagonists, the high potential of backstabbing and betrayal should keep the espionage twists and turns exciting. Meanwhile, a heist storyline would give the movie clear challenges and objectives that could play to each of the respective characters’ talents or demented personalities.
Bottom line: Director David Ayer is already calling the film ‘Dirty Dozen with Supervillains‘ – and that sounds about right to us. We’re excited for the kind of smart, tense, thrills Suicide Squad could bring to the table.
2. The Characters
The comic book Suicide Squad team has encompassed a wide range of DC villains, but the Assault on Arkham animated feature really cracked the formula of why this collection of characters is so fun to have in one place. (With or without Harley Quinn…)
Assault on Arkham drew delicious tension from a team half comprised of no-nonsense professional assassins and mercenaries (Deadshot, Black Spider, KGBeast) – while the other half was comprised of demented and more cartoonish comic book supervillains (Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, King Shark, Harley Quinn). The result? Professionals feeling held back by amateurs, while superpowered psychos got tired of taking crap from smug professionals. Cue trash-talk and conflict amongst a team of egomaniacal, psychotic and violent crooks.
The Avengers tried to float the idea of a team that’s as unstable as it is powerful (“We’re not a team, we’re a time bomb!“) but Suicide Squad has the potential to actually explore that concept, rather than just skimming the surface. At the end of the day, the Suicide Squad isn’t a group that holds together because of mutual respect or goals – they only work together because someone has a gun pressed tight to their respective heads (or explosives planted within them). With no love to speak of, this team of reluctant participants holds potential for some great tough-talk bickering and banter. This won’t be a film devoid of humor (albeit dark humor).
Even though we only have rumors about who will be on the team roster, the combination really doesn’t matter: Seeing how the various extreme personalities on the Suicide Squad contribute to making things either go very right, or very, very, wrong – under the pressure of certain death, to boot – is almost as exciting as the mission itself.
1. Crossover Potential
The biggest reason we think that Suicide Squad will be a great DC Movie Universe addition is its potential to influence so many other DCMU films that come after it.
To be clear: not everyone on this team will survive. Aside from the rumored ‘core 3′ characters (Deadshot, Boomerang and Vixen) the rest of the Squad could be considered not only expendable, but worthy of a Star Trek red shirt. In a movie titled “Suicide Squad,” a few members almost have to get knocked off, horror movie style.
However, the characters that DO make it (assuming it is that aforementioned core 3) have loads of crossover potential. Deadshot appears all over the DCU (The Batman being a primary antagonist); Boomerang is a classic Flash rogue (who will also soon appear on the TV series); and Vixen is familiar to many as a hero of the Justice League. Any other villains thrown in may be expendable (Blockbuster, Mindboggler, Jaculi); but if they survive (and depending who they are) they too have their own potential to show up elsewhere in the DCU.
More importantly though, Suicide Squad will likely break open the classified doors concealing Amanda Waller and the entire black-ops government branch of the DCU – human organizations that must now account for a world of metahumans. As fans of DC comics know, those clandestine organizations connect to any number of other DC heroes; a few worth mention include Project Cadmus (Superman), S.T.A.R. Labs (Superman, Cyborg) or A.R.G.U.S. (Wonder Woman, Justice Leauge).
By giving us a peek at the unseen hands that move chess pieces all over the DCMU (Waller) – not to mention villains who could show up in other films – Suicide Squad may turn out to be a most unlikely (and yet effective) shared universe bridge piece. If that’s the case, the shepherds of the DCMU deserve major kudos for thinking outside of the box.
There are the 5 reasons why we think Suicide Squad could – and likely will – be a smash hit film for DCE and WB’s emerging movie universe. Of course this is just our view – do you agree with our reasoning, or is there something we didn’t mention that has you worried about Suicide Squad (and if so, what)?
Below you’ll find the complete DC Movie release schedule all the way to 2020 – CLICK any LINK for more info on that topic.
- New Batman & Superman Standalone Movies Coming As Well
- Green Lantern & Cyborg Movies in 2020
- The Flash, starring Ezra Miller, in 2018
- Jason Momoa Confirmed As Aquaman For 2018
- Zack Snyder To Direct Justice League 1 & 2
Suicide Squad will be in theaters on August 5, 2016.