Reports have rolled in stating writer/director James Gunn (maybe you’ve heard of him) has been hired on by Warner Bros. to write and possibly direct Suicide Squad 2 (or whatever the title for the sequel will be). For those of you who have not been following industry news over the summer, Gunn was fired by Disney amidst pre-production for Guardians of the Galaxy Vo. 3 over off-color tweets the director sent out a decade ago. The revelation of Gunn’s firing led to a whirlwind of online petitions pleading to get him back in the director’s chair and dozens of think pieces regarding the dangerous precedent this sort of thing can set.
Of course, none of this changed anything. As far as we know, Gunn isn’t coming back to the MCU. At least, not any time soon.
With Gunn essentially being seduced by the Dark Side (at least in terms of the layer of grit most DCEU films wear) of the comic book movie world, it has us wondering how he’ll tackle a Suicide Squad sequel. Gunn has proven himself to competently handle large ensemble casts and make a group of misfit characters instantly relatable without relying on ham-fisted flashbacks, which arguably was the biggest cinematic transgression of David Ayer’s 2016 film Suicide. While there is no doubt Gunn could work his magic with the foundation already laid, perhaps it would be more interesting to see what he would do if he ignored the events of the first film completely and started fresh with the exact same cast.
Don’t Call It A Reboot… Or Do
Long-running film series are weird. The line separating what constitutes a sequel, remake, reboot or companion piece get blurrier and blurrier as years go by. Is 2013’s Evil Dead set in the same universe as the previous films bearing its namesake? Sure. Maybe. Are Sam Rami’s original three films firmly connected as one overarching narrative? Not really, but we consider them a trilogy. Is Batman Forever really a sequel to Batman Returns? Sure a few ancillary characters are played by the same actors and yes, the titular Dark Knight is in it, but the two films couldn’t seem any more different in terms of tone, aesthetics, and plot structure. All of this goes to show that playing with the notion of continuity can be bent to the point of shattering to pieces when it comes to film franchises.
When someone asks how soon is too soon to reboot an intellectual property, the honest answer is, well, never. We'r certain a lot of readers will not agree with this assessment, but sometimes, if things aren’t working, there’s no shame in hitting the self-destruct button and giving it another go. Just look at Sony's Spider-Man franchise. You guys do remember Amazing Spider-Man 2, right? Yeah, we wish we didn’t either.
In short, rebooting Suicide Squad isn’t necessarily out of the question, especially considering the 180 degree shift in tone the DCEU has taken. Say what you will about Justice League, but it was objectively more fun than the previous outing with Superman.