“Suicide Squad” may not have been the movie everyone wanted it to be, but it was a massive financial success. Now, with the recent announcement that Warner Bros. has reportedly hired a screenwriter to pen a sequel, all eyes are on WB to finally deliver a movie worthy of the title. With a strong cast and well-established production design, there is already a very strong framework to work with here.
All that the creators need is a bit of tinkering on the formula, and to re-establish the Suicide Squad not as a band of misfit heroes but as dangerous criminals forced to work on the side of the good guys. It’s not too late to give fans the “Suicide Squad” movie they always wanted. Here at CBR, we’ve compiled a list of 15 ideas, story possibilities and cameos we think could make “Suicide Squad 2” a great movie.
15. THE JOKER
If there was one thing that the “Suicide Squad” trailers and marketing promised, it was The Joker. Disappointment came rapidly when moviegoers found out that he was barely in the movie, and that his story was relegated to a subplot at best. Even the “Extended Cut” of the movie wasn’t enough to satiate us, giving us only a few more Joker scenes, but not nearly as many as promised. Jared Leto had an all too brief yet fascinating take on the Joker, one that we want to see more of.
Director David Ayer even recently went on record to say that in retrospect, he wished he would have made Joker the main villain of the movie. Well, now is the time for the studio to make up for past mistakes. The next “Suicide Squad” movie needs to put The Joker front and center, and let him do what he does best: unleash chaos. He needs to be a force that the Squad has to fight against. With the increasing popularity of Harley Quinn, this will only give her a bigger role and character development, something her fans all want to see.
14. AN INDEPENDENT WALLER
The first half of the “Suicide Squad” movie mainly focused on Amanda Waller explaining her Task Force X program to various military personnel and government officials, once in a restaurant while she introduced the team, and once at the Pentagon, where she obtained the green light for her project. However, one thing that fans of Amanda Waller know is that, both in the comic books and the animated series, she doesn’t ask for permission. She simply gets things done.
With the sequel, we need to see a more independent Amanda Waller. We need to see her still at the head of Task Force X, but also to see her work towards her own dark and personal goals. Amanda knows what she wants, even if that goes against the will of governments or heroes, and she goes after it. That is the Amanda Waller we need to see. The first movie got the ruthless aspect of her character down pat, but now is the time to explore just how dangerous she really is.
13. MAX LORD
After the disaster in Midway City and the Suicide Squad saving the day, it would make sense that the government keep Task Force X in action. But, with a more independent Amanda Waller as established in the previous point, we could see the introduction of a new character, one whose function would be that of a government liaison. Who better to fill those shoes than the longtime DC Comics character Maxwell Lord?
In the comic books, Max Lord is a reputable but secretly dangerous man with the power of mind control. As a government employee, Max could arrive to keep tabs on Amanda and the various covert operations she is now running, giving us a game of cat and mouse, or dare we say “chess,” between the two (that’s a reference to the clandestine organization called Checkmate, ICYMI). Lord would not even have to be introduced as a villain, but more of a nuisance, until the final reveal of his dangerous powers. This would set up his future as a “Justice League” villain.
12. BAD GUYS BEING BAD
“Suicide Squad” went to great lengths to tell us that the team of recruits were bad guys, and the characters spent a lot of time reminding us of that fact. But very rarely did we get to see them actually being bad. In the most dangerous of circumstances, the team was forced to fight for good and they ended up winning the day. But killing monsters and witches doesn’t paint anyone in a really bad light. The Squad only came off as heroes.
Their work may be for the greater good, but the Suicide Squad is comprised of a team of dangerous criminals. That fact needs to be highlighted in more sequences, without taking away from what the characters are trying to accomplish as reluctant government agents. Their missions and tactics need to be dark and brutal and bloody. With the sequel, we need to put less of a focus on “heroes” and more on the “villains” part.
11. THE SECRET SIX
With the door now open for villains to be put into the field by the government, it would be nice to see another fan-favorite DC Comics supervillain team arrive on the scene. Under the pen of Gail Simone, the “Secret Six” was a team of villains more in search of redemption than anything else; comprised of Scandal Savage, Catman, Ragdoll, Bane, Jeannette and Deadshot. But these villains were not forced together by brain-implanted bombs. They simply chose to stick together, as a family unit.
With Deadshot already a member of the Squad, we could see him become disenchanted by the sequel’s end, and escape Amanda Waller’s clutches, where he could then run into some scary but ultimately lovable bad guys. We wouldn’t need much, just a quick appearance by Bane or Scandal Savage, who finds Floyd on the other side of the world. It could even be presented as an after-credits, one that could lead to the rumored “Deadshot” movie, a flick that could be disguising itself as a full-blown “Secret Six” project.
Deadshot may have been the most proficient weapons specialist in the Squad’s arsenal, but he was under the control and leadership of Rick Flag in the field. In “Suicide Squad 2,” it would be great to drop the Rick Flag character entirely and let the team be led by Deadshot. With Waller communicating with them from her command center, there would be no need to have an intermediary in the field to try and control the Squad. The bombs in their heads already do that.
With one less character to focus on, the smaller characters that ended up not having much of a role or development in the first movie could have a chance to stand out. Without Flag and someone to keep them in check, characters like Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang would have more chances to shine and let out their personalities. With Deadshot calling the shots, we could also see a story that changes him, one where he could even be plotting to diffuse the bomb in his head and escape.
With Deadshot in charge and Captain Boomerang having a chance to shine, this could lead us to a relationship that fans know from the comics and animated versions, but one that the first “Suicide Squad” movie all but ignored: the rivalry between Floyd Lawton and Digger Harkness. Always in competition with one another, always trying to one up the other, Deadshot and Boomerang have an antagonistic relationship that is only kept at bay thanks to the explosive devices in their heads.
There is no love between the two, and both have promised to kill the other many times over. Their rivalry often heats up in the worst of moments, whether they are under fire or hiding in a sovereign nation. As their respective characters, Will Smith and Jai Courtney were highlights of the movie and the sequel would do well to let the two actors share more screen time, insults and maybe even a few punches. Whether it’s for some much needed humor or drama, these are strong personalities that need to clash.
8. BLACK SPIDER
The Suicide Squad have, in their arsenal, a baseball bat, a crocodile, boomerangs, and one deadly shooter. They have a lot of kills to their collective names, but they aren’t the most tactical bunch. Removing Rick Flag and his team of soldiers makes the team that much smaller, and less professional when it comes to full-blown military missions. Bringing in a new character on the team’s roster like Black Spider would bring some much needed skills and add some efficiency to the group.
As some viewers saw in the “Batman: Assault on Arkham” animated movie, Black Spider is a perfect cross between spy and soldier. He’s a master infiltrator and an agile and deadly fighter who can hold his own against Batman. His more level-headed personality could also bring in some interesting exchanges between his more outlandish teammates. Spider’s addition to the team would add some much needed credibility to Amanda Waller’s Task Force X program, and Black Spider could be an instrumental part of the team going forward.
7. CHARACTER STRENGTHS
Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Deadshot are all great characters that either have strengths or abilities. But their mission to save the world from Enchantress didn’t allow much in the way of specific uses of their skills. Sure, Croc got to swim once, and Boomerang threw one boomerang that one time. All of them may have had their moment in the first movie, but the sequel needs to tailor some missions or circumstances that will suit the characters’ powers.
We need to see Harley be quiet when she has to, and especially manipulative when the situation calls for it. We need to see Boomerang unleash boomerang after trick boomerang, explosive or electric or whatever else he’s got stashed in that coat of his. We need Croc in and out of the water, chomping off heads only when the time for subtlety is over. But most of all, we need to see the Squad in action as a fighting unit, showing how they have evolved and become a well-oiled machine.
6. BLACK OPS STYLE
With a new efficient member in Black Spider and an added focus on the characters’ various strengths and abilities, the perfect way to show the new Suicide Squad in action would be to open the movie with a black ops style mission in a sovereign nation. This could be in a place where the United States isn’t supposed to be or interfere with, something Amanda Waller simply doesn’t care about. With the mission as her goal, she would lead the team from her command center, and it would show that her relationship with the characters has evolved.
The mission could be one of infiltration and extraction, or assassination. Whatever it is, it needs to highlight the characters, and it needs to be brutal. It needs to show what the Suicide Squad was always supposed to be: a super-secret team that is sent to do some very bad things, and a team that is expendable. It can also be a team that goes against Waller’s orders, and chooses to save one of their own when a teammate is left behind, setting up some more friction for the rest of the movie.
5. GOTHAM CITY
In a way, Gotham City is synonymous with DC Comics and movies. It is, arguably, their most popular and recognizable city. It’s also the city that most characters on the Suicide Squad roster used to call home. After a string of successful missions that have taken them around the world, it would be nice to see how the characters react to going home. After all, this is where Harley fell in love with the Joker, where Croc lived in the sewers, where Deadshot was captured by Batman in front of his daughter.
Either they go there for a short, supervised leave by Waller before the Joker shows up to start some trouble, or they are sent there for the main mission of this new movie. Whatever the case, Gotham is not only a city but a character, and its dark streets and criminal populace is one that would complement and even contrast what the Suicide Squad members have become during their time in Task Force X.
4. A RIDDLER CAMEO
Gotham City is also the home of some other very famous villains. Two-Face, the Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow… the list goes on and on. But there is one particular villain who would work well, and is already very well-known and overdue to return to our screens: The Riddler. A sequel to “Suicide Squad,” a movie that focuses on villains who are more brawn than brains, should bring in a different kind of villain, one who prefers mind games over fistfights.
The animated movie “Batman: Assault on Arkham” brought the Riddler into the fold when the Suicide Squad was looking for a way to deactivate the bombs in their heads. “Squad 2” could borrow a page right out of the story, and have Floyd Lawton seek out an old acquaintance of his once he has had too much of Waller and the way she treats his team. Being that they are in Gotham City, finding someone like the Riddler shouldn’t be too difficult, and the character wouldn’t have to overstay his welcome.
3. THE BAT-FAMILY AS “VILLAINS”
When you say Gotham City, in the same breath, you also say Batman. The two go hand-in-hand. With the Squad shooting up the streets and buildings of Gotham, it’s only a matter of time before Batman shows up on the scene. However, this movie would be an opportunity to let Batman take a side-seat by having him absent on Justice League business. That way, we could get to see characters like Robin, Nightwing and Batgirl step up to take their mentor’s place while he’s away, giving audiences some more bat-related characters to discover.
But it wouldn’t stop there. With the Squad painted as the heroes of the story, the movie would do well to show us the Bat-family from their point of view, as the true “villains” (antagonists, really) of the piece. Deadshot and his team would be trying to stop some very bad things from turning even worse, and they would have to fight Batman’s sidekicks to accomplish their mission. While both teams would ultimately have the same goals, their very different tactics would put them at odds, and the results would be spectacular.
2. THE MACGUFFIN
At the heart of many movies lies a MacGuffin: an object that everyone is after, the source of the main conflict in the story. For a movie like “Suicide Squad 2,” the MacGuffin could be not a what, but a who. Since it has been established that Zod’s body has been turned into Doomsday, we could learn that Amanda Waller has learned of some very bad people like Lexcorp or Cadmus attempting to clone the Kryptonian, and sending her Squad to take care of it… or take possession of it.
As previously mentioned, Amanda has many goals, secrets within secrets, and her making a play for a weapon as powerful as Zod would be at the top of her list. With the Squad being kept in the dark of what they are really after, the discovery of the true nature of their target would have to push them to make some very difficult decisions. Do they hand over Zod to Waller for her to do as she pleases, or eliminate him before he can be unleashed upon the world once more? Of course, the real question is, could all of this lead to something even bigger?
1. JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD
There is another Kryptonian out there, one who has defeated Zod once before, at great cost. There is no telling for sure where the Justice League movie will leave Superman, but “alive” is a safe bet. If Superman were to come to learn of this new Zod’s existence after hearing from one of Batman’s sidekicks, he could fly faster than a speeding bullet towards Gotham City and arrive smashing through the walls with his Justice League friends to deal with the Kryptonian swiftly, unlike his previous encounter.
But once the Justice League would arrive, they would also find the Suicide Squad there. Whether the Squad would have willingly or accidentally awoken Zod, the confusion and sheer power-levels would undoubtedly lead to a confrontation between the two teams, where the re-emergence of Zod could give the Squad a fighting chance. Just like in the recent DC Rebirth event “Justice League vs. Suicide Squad” written by Joshua Williamson, we could see the two teams come to blows, only to then team-up to fight a common enemy.
What would you like to see in the Suicide Squad sequel? Let us know in the comments!