When it comes to parent-child dynamics, superheroes within the genre don’t exactly have a good rap. If the parents aren’t dying tragically, they’re some level of psychologically messed up. And it doesn’t get much better when you’re a supervillain. We spoke with The Suicide Squad‘s Storm Reid about her character Tyla Dubois and her contentious relationship Idris Elba‘s Bloodsport, and how that relationship changes and could evolve for the future.
The following interview contains spoilers for The Suicide Squad.
Tyla’s relationship with Bloodsport, aka Robert Dubois, is both the catalyst to Bloodsport joining Task Force X and also the largest part of his emotional baggage. In order to influence him to join the team, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) uses the fact that Tyla was caught shoplifting and threatens her with the most serious penalty (even hinting at death) in order to force Bloodsport’s hand.
When creating her character, Reid felt it was important to step into her character’s shoes and empathize with her feelings. “It’s important to try to grasp and become your character wholeheartedly as much as possible, but also add the essence of you. So I feel like that’s what I do with every character, specifically Tyla, she’s obviously a girl that is hurt and is hurting. And she’s a little spicy, and she’s fierce. She’s not afraid to speak up for herself. So, there was a little bit of similarities in that way where she speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes in,” said Reid.
We first meet Tyla when she visits her father at Belle Reve and the two immediately come off as aggressive toward one another. “Even though we didn’t get much backstory when Tyla’s first introduced to her father in [Belle Reve], you can tell that there is some history there. And that they don’t have a great relationship and that they don’t communicate a lot,” said Reid, who admitted that Tyla’s past and her mother’s presence was murky.
Although we don’t know the exact reason why Tyla regards her father with so little respect, Reid said, “At the end of the day, she really needs to go to him. I feel like he is the only person that she has, even though she might be doubtful about his intentions, of course, or how he would react because he hasn’t been present as a father. I think that’s what you really see. That anger, that insecurity, and that sadness in Tyla, even though we don’t explore it in-depth, that’s how she’s coming into that prison to sit down and talk to somebody who’s supposed to be an inspiration. But he’s far from that.”
But, as the film progresses, as the group executes and derails their plans in Corto Maltese, ultimately saving the country from the monstrous Starro, Tyla gets to glimpse a different side of her father. She watches as her father defeats Starro and saves the city, much to her surprise.
“She is proud of her father at that moment,” Reid says, before admitting, “And it’s kind of a sigh of relief, probably, in both ways. She knows that if he didn’t go on this mission, or if he didn’t complete the mission, she’d probably get in trouble or have to face the consequences of the action of [shoplifting]. She even more so is proud that he has finally done something good in his life and that he is finally not being selfish. He did something to not only risk his life but be selfless and save her and save the world.”
However, just because he saved the city, it doesn’t mean that he is absolved of all past crimes. As Reid continued, “But I’m sure if that scene were to be continued, or if there was another Suicide Squad, she’d still have questions of him as a father. Like, ‘Yes, you did something heroic as a person, but how do you act as a father? How do you treat me? How are you going to move forward from this moment on?'”
Tyla Taking on the Mantle?
Of course, when it comes to the superhero genre, picking up the mantle of your mentor or parent is commonplace. Hell, even within The Suicide Squad we have Ratcatcher 2, who has inherited the title from her father. And given Bloodsport’s fatherly-like relationship with Ratcatcher 2, it doesn’t feel out of the realm of possibility that that might bleed into his relationship with his daughter.
Although it’s hard to imagine the relationship between the two will be immediately patched up post-film, Reid says she can imagine a future where Tyla takes on some of Bloodsport’s skills. “That would be very cool for people and audiences, and even us to be able to see Tyla grow up and see what she grows up to be. I think right now, she wants to be as far removed from what her father is as possible, but you never know. And she might get in more trouble. Or they might cultivate a relationship if there is another movie, and he might teach her some things that he was taught as a young man. So there’s always possibilities and ways where we can explore her becoming a superhero in her own right.”
Given the parallels between Ratcatcher and Ratcatcher 2 with Bloodsport and Tyla, it would be intriguing to see Tyla fighting alongside her father, or perhaps even against him depending on the scenario. Reid certainly has the charisma and talent to play opposite Elba and perhaps she’d be able to get a little revenge on Amanda Waller?
With the success of The Suicide Squad, it’s hard to imagine that Warner Bros won’t capitalize on the success. So, is Tyla’s return likely? If a sequel is announced with Bloodsport making a comeback, it feels inevitable.