Last week saw the biggest reversal outside of wrestling. The announcement that Warner Bros. might be potentially poaching James Gunn from Marvel after they unceremoniously fired him. Gunn is responsible for a huge boom in Marvel interest when he successfully introduced a team of no-names and brought a relatively grounded universe to space. He was even said to be the head of the cosmic side of Marvel going forward. Warner Bros. and DC offering him a job writing and possibly directing is a great move.
The original Suicide Squad movie was not so subtly took inspiration from Guardians with its ever-present soundtrack, wild colors, and band of not-so-heroic heroes. Along with the story of Gunn’s involvement, it was revealed that WB was making the smart move of allowing him total creative control. This meant that the movie would be a “reboot” of sorts. DC comics and animated movie fans will know that Task Force X goes through many different lineups in each new iteration. Most likely, Gunn’s sequel will feature Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller and Will Smith as Deadshot.
Having those familiar faces and star power is important for branding, revenue, and story. Harley Quinn may be in it, depending on if this and Margot Robbie’s passion project, Birds of Prey, shoot at the same time. I would love to see a Harley Quinn written by James Gunn. So up next is my fancasted lineup of never-used Suicide Squad members to make up the movie’s new team. Some had long tenures on the team in the comics, while others were on the team but for shorter stints.
Dave Bautista as Bane
Dave Bautista was one of the earliest and definitely most vocal supporters of James Gunn, following Gunn’s firing. On social media, he has made multiple statements calling it a mistake on Marvel’s part. He along with the rest of the cast signed a group petition asking for Gunn’s reinstatement. Bautista’s loyalty definitely has not waned. With the announcement of Gunn’s involvement in Suicide Squad 2, he almost immediately tweeted the story with a “Sign me up!” Many have been quick to fancast Bautista as Bane because of his physique.
Other options, such as a new Killer Croc, the humanoid version of King Shark, and Solomon Grundy went through my head. But I think Bane is the best fit and would finally free Bautista from makeup and prosthetics. Bane isn’t commonly associated with the Squad, but he has been a part of it in the past. If the previous iteration is not returning, this new team could use some name recognition. Perhaps the movie could open with the squad assaulting Santa Prisca mid-coup. They stop Bane and Waller forces him to join as punishment.
Kate Mara as Killer Frost
A more standard Suicide Squad member, Killer Frost is almost a shoe-in for this sequel. Female representation will need to come back for this movie and hopefully be better written than Katana was. Kate Mara plays cold characters very well. She hasn’t always had the best track records with movies. But for every Fantastic Four, there is a The Martian. Disregarding the movie, Mara is always fantastic in any role. Her history with Marvel at Fox shows she doesn’t shy away from superhero films. Her history playing hyper-intelligent scientists will also be used well before her turn to evil. Her intelligence mixed with her cold personality could really take advantage of James Gunn’s humor.
Omari Hardwick as Bronze Tiger
Ben Turner is another comic mainstay that was not chosen for the first film. When he was 10 years old, Turner killed for the time. He later traveled to far East Asia to face his demons and seek peace. He studied martial arts there and is now of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the world. Having attachable metal claws on your knuckles doesn’t hurt either. Bronze Tiger eventually ended up in Amanda Waller’s grasp. She groomed him to become the team leader, second only to Rick Flag.
In certain comics and the animated movie Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Turner refuses to kill and is even shown as a devoutly religious man. Omari Hardwick has played the lead character Ghost on the Starz show Power for five seasons now. The character is a former drug dealer, turned nightclub owner constantly trying to absolve from his past. Hardwick also has a great track record in movies, including the recent Sorry to Bother You where he played an intimidating Power Caller.
Michael Rosenbaum as Multiplex
Another actor who has previous working experience with Gunn and has asked to be included in the project is Michael Rosenbaum. This man is no stranger to comic properties. His credits include Lex Luthor on Smallville and voicing Wally West Flash in the Justice League cartoon. For Gunn, he played Martinex, one of Stallone’s original Guardians 3000 team. His background is incredibly varied but Rosenbaum shines in comedy. I think Gunn’s take on Multiplex, the man who can make copies of himself, would be outrageously funny.
Berenice Bejo as Plastique
Bette Sans Souci was a French Canadian terrorist with the power to give off explosive energy to anything she touches. The mix of these two qualities got her in trouble and put in Task Force X quickly. Bejo was born in Argentina and later moved to France. She speaks fluent French which will be very important for the character. Most moviegoers will know her from the 2011 film, The Artist, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. In the Justice League Unlimited episode titled “Task Force X,” she and Deadshot are often seen flirting with each other.
I would like to see that aspect played larger in the film and have her and Lawton develop a relationship while on these life or death missions. All too often, studios only cast young actresses as female superheroes. Bejo is only 8 years younger than Will Smith, but Deadshot is definitely not supposed to be 50 in the movies.
Peter Serafinowicz as Manchester Black
The last actor on my list who is a James Gunn alumni is Peter Serafinowicz. MCU fans will know him as the Nova Corps Officer who says of the Guardians of the Galaxy “what a bunch of A-holes.” He is an incredible comedic actor who has recently starred as the titular role in the superhero show The Tick. He also has extensive voice-over experience and could really play up the Manchester accent of the character. Manchester Black was a part of the team during the early 2000’s. He has powerful and acute telepathy, so much so that he was able to give Superman a stroke by pinching the blood vessels in Superman’s brain. Despite this grim act, Black is an extravagant personality, one great for Gunn’s purposes.
John DiMaggio as King Shark
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. John DiMaggio is probably the most accomplished voice actors of our time. He voiced King Shark in the Suicide Squad animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham. The character could also be the loveable CGI monstrosity of this film that Gunn can go wild with.
The character was almost in the first film, but that team went with Killer Croc as they could use makeup and prosthetics. King Shark would have to be fully CGI and even facial mo-cap would be hard as his face is not very humanoid. Perhaps DiMaggio could voice the character and Sean Gunn could be on set doing the bodywork for King Shark, a la Rocket Raccoon.
So there you have it. This seven ne’er do wells, along with Will Smith’s Deadshot, could make up the new team. Some kind of suicide squad. What do you think of my choices? Are there any other characters I missed you want to see? Any different actors for the characters I chose? Tweet us @superbromovies – Cole