The last time the Suicide Squad hit theaters in 2016, the results weren’t pretty for comic book fans, with many blaming the film’s poor reception on Warner Bros. getting in the way.
But James Gunn, the director of the new Squad film, has now gone on record claiming that Warner Bros. has barely interfered in the making of his upcoming sequel.
During a Twitter Q&A, Gunn responded to a fan asking about the movie due to Warner Bros.’ history of editing films into bad results and responded:
#TheSuicideSquad is fully finished and cut and I made every single choice and they never once even slightly interfered. They gave very few notes – they were usually good and minor and I took them if I wanted to and didn’t if I didn’t want to. Warners was creatively amazing.”
Gunn further added that he believes he gained trust from Warner Bros. due to his reputation for coming in under budget as he did with the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Signing Gunn on was a coup for the studio and they wouldn’t want to make him upset.
The mess of the first Suicide Squad
The concerns of fans regarding this new movie rest in how bad the first Suicide Squad film was.
The adventures of super-villains forced into a secret mission by the government was conceived by director David Ayer as a dark drama. That included Jared Leto’s twisted take on the Joker.
But Warner Bros. wanted a more Marvel-styled romp and turned reshoots and editing of the film over to the Trailer Park group. The clashing styles made the movie a critically ravaged mess.
Despite Ayer’s hopes, no attempt at a director’s cut has been made. Thus, fans are happier about WB staying out of Gunn’s way for this film and let Gunn handle his own vision.
The new Squad will have the return of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) and Viola Davis as boss Amanda Waller.
Joining for this entry are John Cena as Peacemaker, Peter Capaldi as the Thinker and Pete Davidson as Blackguard. Idris Elba seemed ready to replace Will Smith as Deadshot but will now play Bloodsport.
The Birds of Prey comparisons
Fueling the concerns about Gunn’s Suicide Squad is how Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan recently claimed Warner Bros. refused to give her full creative control, which harmed the final cut of the movie.
Like Squad, Birds endured reshoots and a rough promotional campaign before underperforming at the box office.
Of course, unlike rookie director Yan, Gunn has a proven track record at making comic book movies into blockbuster hits. It’s thus not surprising Warner Bros. would give him more freedom than they did either Yan or Ayer.
It should also be remembered that Warner Bros.’ problems with Justice League’s tone and reshoots became so large that they ended up birthing the Snyder Cut. The studio appeared to have difficulty deciding the direction of DC movies.
While it’s possible Gunn is simply trying to bolster the movie and calm down the naysayers, his talk of the lack of studio interference indicates this Squad will have an easier time winning over fans.
The Suicide Squad opens in theaters and HBO Max on August 21.