James Gunn, the director fired earlier this year from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, is now in talks to write DC’s Suicide Squad 2 with an eye to also direct, according to a report today from The Wrap.
This could be somewhat of a coup for Warner Bros., the studio behind Suicide Squad and other films based on DC superheroes. With Gunn writing and directing, Guardians of the Galaxy grew from a relatively obscure comic book property into a veritable household name after just two high-earning and critically-acclaimed movies.
Gunn was dismissed from writing/directing Guardians of the Galaxy 3 earlier this year after a concentrated online campaigned publicized a series of tasteless jokes he made years ago about rape and pedophilia on Twitter. Gunn had long since apologized for the jokes, and, as such, his firing set off widespread debate over whether it was merited, with members of Guardians’ cast going to bat for him (especially Dave Bautista).
This is, in other words, possibly big news for Warner Bros., whose superhero films are for obvious reasons in direct and perpetual competition with Marvel and Disney’s.
Gunn will also reportedly bring an entirely new approach to the Suicide Squad franchise, which involves a group of super-villains who get sent on shadowy government missions under threat of having surgically-implanted bombs exploded in their heads. Reports are suggesting that this new movie will maybe not be a direct sequel to the first film.
Suicide Squad was released in 2016 and directed by David Ayer, who will not return in that role for the sequel. That film starred Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Deadshot. Grossing nearly $750 million, it was a financial success in spite of mixed reviews. Suicide Squad 2 does not yet have a release date.