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“Suicide Squad’s” Director Champions Representation, Not “Ticking Boxes”

by  in Movie News Comment
“Suicide Squad’s” Director Champions Representation, Not “Ticking Boxes”

With its ensemble cast, Warner Bros.’ upcoming DC Comics-based movie “Suicide Squad” will introduce a whole new group of characters to moviegoing audiences across the world. And, as anyone that’s seen promotional materials for “Suicide Squad” knows, the cast is more diverse than what we usually see in superhero movies.

“It’s less about ticking boxes,” director David Ayer told USA Today. Ayer hails from a diverse South Los Angeles neighborhood, so he grew up in a diverse setting — and “Suicide Squad” reflects that. “It’s important for kids to see people who look like them in movies.”

USA Today breaks down the film’s core cast, which includes only 3 white male actors (Jared Leto, Jai Courtney and Joel Kinnaman). The rest are women (Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingne and Karen Fukuhara) and six actors are people of color (Davis, Fukuhara, Will Smith, Jay Hernandez, Adam Beach and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).

The way Amanda Waller was depicted in the comics spoke to Viola Davis, who said she “loved the way [Waller] looked. I loved the Afro, I loved that she was a big woman because that woman seemed real to me.”

With a multiethnic cast like “Suicide Squad’s, Will Smith says “you can be free with the diversity of the world. There’s no opposing reality you have to adhere to… That is hugely important to me and something I want to be able to be a part of pushing forward in Hollywood.”

The film’s casting has more in common with the “Fast and Furious” franchise than its Marvel counterparts, co-founder of the African-American Critics Association Shawn Edwards told USA Today. “The mix is natural, it’s organic and I applaud them,” said Edwards. “It’s a beautiful thing to see… I’m glad that finally a franchise in a comic-book universe has gotten it right. Marvel [was] very slow to the diversity party.”

Directed by David Ayer and starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jared Leto and more, “Suicide Squad” opens on August 5.

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