Many fans are eager to watch James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, a soft reboot or remake of the 2016 Suicide Squad. The new movie brings back Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, as well as three of her castmates, so it’s not quite a reboot and not quite a sequel. But DC wanted a chance to remake the first Suicide Squad, so they did.
For a long time, the DC Extended Universe tried to rival the MCU but without much luck. It was never quite sure if it was fully adult or younger, if it should be funny, or if it should be more solemn and action-focused.
Enough people are fans of the characters that DC movies have done relatively well in the box office, but their identity crisis did not bring on much positive critical reception. So is that why they decided to remake Suicide Squad? Well, yes, and there’s more.
They decided to remake ‘Suicide Squad’ for a shot at a better movie.
Back in 2016, the world was optimistic — we thought politics were as crazy as they were ever going to get and that the biggest problem was that Suicide Squad wasn't as good as we'd hoped it would be. Little did we know, 2020 had something different in-store. Regardless, Suicide Squad suffered from a lack of perspective and unfortunately fell to negative reviews.
Even the director, David Ayer, disowned Suicide Squad. He tweeted, “I put my life into Suicide Squad. I made something amazing — my cut is [an] intricate and emotional journey with some ‘bad people’ who are s--t on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul). The studio cut is not my movie.” In many ways, the 2016 Suicide Squad fell to a lot of the same faults as the 2017 Justice League.
It was always intended that Suicide Squad would have a sequel. And even with the critical reviews, the movie grossed enough to cause Warner Bros. to want to keep going with the franchise. But David Ayer opted to work on a Gotham City Sirens movie instead (which may or may not ever come to be), causing the company to have to look for a new director. After several failed attempts to secure one, they ended up with James Gunn.
The decision to remake ‘Suicide Squad’ was also related to James Gunn’s availability.
It’s no secret that James Gunn has the magic touch when it comes to superhero movies. He’s responsible for penning MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was one of the most successful MCU movies.
This was largely due to its witty script and fun banter — something the MCU did not take for granted. Most MCU movies after Guardians of the Galaxy have employed a lot of what James Gunn brought to the outer space band of misfits.
So when he was temporarily fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 due to an inappropriate tweet from a very long time ago, Warner Bros. jumped at the chance to bring in some of his magic.
As James told Den of Geek, he was initially brought on for a Superman movie, which he wasn't interested in. So, Warner Bros. told him the magic words that gave us The Suicide Squad: Make whatever movie you want. What he was most interested in was a new Suicide Squad-focused movie.
Still, according to producer Peter Safran, it took some time to get the movie in motion. He explained to Collider, "[The studio's decision to return to the property] was driven in large part by James Gunn's sudden availability that started July of last year. I always felt like it's an incredible property and when I talked to James about it, his initial reaction was, 'I'm not sure. Let me think about it.'”
Thank goodness he did think about it! “‘Listen, who's better to bring together a disparate group of outsiders on a mission? James Gunn.' That was my pitch to him,” Peter revealed.
And James Gunn basically said that he would only do it if he isn’t “bound” by anything that has already happened. He wanted to make The Suicide Squad, but he wanted to do it from scratch. And that’s exactly what Warner Bros. wanted.
So luckily for us, James Gunn signed on and we get The Suicide Squad. Not a sequel, not a reboot, just a James Gunn remake. It’s grittier, grungier, and way dirtier, so we definitely don’t recommend this one for kids. Its R-rating shows exactly where The Suicide Squad stands as far as its identity, and we are not disappointed.
The Suicide Squad is now in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max.