Warner Bros. announced the cast for the upcoming “Suicide Squad” movie, which is set to beginning filming in April and to be released in August of 2016. The announcement has made something very clear to me: they have no idea what they’re doing.
Your Suicide Squad will be made up of Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, and Cara Delevingne as the Enchantress. In keeping with DC’s way, a different actor will play Boomerang in the movies than on TV.
I have nothing against these choices. I’m sure there are people complaining about Deadshot being played by Smith, but I think he’ll do a perfectly fine job. I’m a little concerned they’re going to give him a bigger role than is necessary, though. No, the problem here isn’t the actors, it’s the characters they will be playing.
The fact that the Joker is a part of this movie underscores to me that Warner Bros. has no idea what to do with these characters (although I suppose that was clear after “Man of Steel”).
The Joker has no business on this team. From a purely logistical standpoint, what would he bring to that team aside from chaos? I understand the appeal of adding drama to a story, but would the as-of-yet-uncast Amanda Waller actually put the Joker on a team that’s supposed to accomplish something? There’s no way. It would never happen.
You’re also watering down the character. This has always been a problem in the comics but doesn’t have to be in the movies. At one point, there was an editorial edict at DC
that the Batman books could no longer use the Joker, because every writer had a Joker story they wanted to tell. If they Joker is getting beaten up by Batman six months out of the year, he’s not really a threat anymore, is he? Putting him in another movie – another potential franchise – waters him down.
Even worse, he’s not part of an ensemble. He should be larger than life, not contained. There’s no way Warners reintroduces an iconic character (now played by an Oscar winner) for a minor role. But at the same time, he can’t have the amount of time that the character requires because, oh, look, Will Smith is playing Deadshot.
It’s easy to understand why Warner Bros is doing this, though. The Joker is iconic and no one’s ever heard of any of the rest of them. Creating a movie based on a comic book that features no recognizable characters would never work, right? What’s that? Guardians of the what now?
But perhaps I’m missing the obvious. Perhaps DC are actually being really sneaky and clever and I’m failing to pick up on it.
For one thing, this is an odd choice of characters for the Suicide Squad. You obviously can’t have a team called the Suicide Squad without Deadshot , Boomerang, Amanda Waller, and Rick Flagg, so all of that is great. Harley Quinn is an odd choice, but she’s in the current series and I would imagine she’s the one they want fans to really fall for (which makes the inclusion of the Joker still more strange, as he would overshadow her — or anyone else). But why not Bronze Tiger? He’s got a hell of a back story and is, in fact, a non-white DC character. Poison Ivy was fantastic on the team. If they’re going to use Batman villains, why not one we haven’t seen yet? Are they saving Vixen for a Justice League movie? Couldn’t she first show up here?
But maybe that’s exactly what they’re doing. Maybe this IS a lead in to the Justice League movie.
Look at that line-up again and consider the fact that Lex Luthor is rumored to make an appearance. Boomerang is a Flash villain. Joker is a Batman villain. Luthor fights Superman. What if the Enchantress is there because she fights Wonder Woman?
What if this isn’t just a Suicide Squad movie, but the start of the Legion of Doom?
Nah. We couldn’t get something that cool.
After all, this is the same studio that had Superman ignore innocents so he could kill someone.
We’ll probably get a skinny Amanda Waller, too.