Later this summer, DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures will release James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, the second film in five years named for that lovable band of murderers. Is James Gunn’s film a sequel? A prequel? Is it one of those side-quels that’s all the rage? Nobody fucking knows, and I CANNOT BELIEVE WE KEEP LETTING DC FILMS & WARNER BROS. GET AWAY WITH IT!!!
Earlier this week Collider dropped a fascinating piece examining the origins of the latest film in DC’s so-called “universe.” Allegedly, during a 2018 visit to the film’s set, journalists sat down with producer Peter Safran and production designer Beth Mickle and lobbed questions at the crew members. Naturally, the intrepid reporters asked how The Suicide Squad connects to Suicide Squad. Safran had this to say:
We just don’t address it in any tangible form.
Soo…does this movie reference, in any way, any of the other DCEU films? Dawn of Justice? Birds of Prey? Do we hear about Batman, or Superman, or Jared Leto’s Joker?
Yes, they’re the characters [and] the actors that played them in the first movie. But we really wanted to make sure that this stands on its own two feet.
Oh, so…it’s a sequel then, right? Since this is the second movie that these characters are in?
So, again, it’s why… it’s not a sequel, but there are some characters that were in the first movie, right? So it’s not really a full reboot either. So we just call it James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
So, despite the fact that the two films share several cast members, 2/3 of the same title, and are presumably set in the same world, we won’t really get any answers as to how the two films are connected. Ain’t that some shit??
Listen folks, I get it. I really do. Put yourself in DC Films/Warner Bros. Pictures shoes: You made a movie that was mostly bad (27% on Rotten Tomatoes) and doesn’t warrant a sequel, but you’re not ready to give up on a franchise. There’s gold in them there hills! So what’s your play? Do you go for the sequel anyway, but maybe mix up your approach? Hire a new writer and director? Toy with the genre a bit? Lure your cross-town rivals’ Golden Boy director over to get his perspective? Really, really give it the ‘ole college try and see if you can make something that will lead into a third film that completes the trilogy? I’m not sure what the right answer is, but I’m pretty sure I know what the wrong answer is:
COMPLETELY IGNORE THE FIRST FILM AND PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
It’s one thing to make a bad movie and then own up to it and try again, but this has been a pattern for DC Films and Warner Bros. since basically the inception of their so-called Expanded Universe. Here are just a couple of their hit ideas that surely first came to fruition on the back of a cocktail napkin at a San Fernando Valley Hooters:
- “Justice League sucks? Eh, let’s remake half of it years later! No need to commit to one canonical story!”
- “Yes, I know we have Ben Affleck as Batman, but what if…hear me out…what if…*snorts cocaine*…what if we also had Robert Pattinson as Batman too??”
- “Let’s hire Jared Leto as the Joker and feature him heavily in the marketing campaign for Suicide Squad, but give him like eleven minutes of screen time in the whole DCEU.”
- “We killed off Chris Pine’s character in Wonder Woman, but uhhh, he’s pretty marketable and Marvel already locked up the other three Chrises…let’s bring him back, but only if it’s in a really stupid way!”
Is it even an Expanded Universe if the fucking movies don’t connect at all??
Every Last Nickel
I may come across as a DC hater, and that’s just not the case. Truly, I believe the world would be better with a good and cool DCEU. It’s true. And, this very website has praised James Gunn on multiple occasions! But that expanded universe hasn’t manifested. I wish it would! But unfortunately for DC fans, DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures are waaay more interested in squeezing every last nickel out of their properties than they are in crafting a cohesive, expansive film franchise.
I’m sure that James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will make tons of money and we’ll have a hootin’ good time watching the theater and we’ll overlook the fact that DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures absolutely don’t give a shit about their filmmakers or fans or continuity, and for the life of me, I CANNOT BELIEVE WE KEEP LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!!!
Check it out…or don’t…on August 6th. Either way, don’t expect this story to matter in a few years.