Cover Photo: Warner Bros.

After releasing Synder Cut, Warner Bros. is keeping the momentum going and treating DC Comics fans to The Suicide Squad updates

Warner Bros. has released the red band trailer for The Suicide Squad, an R-rated movie about DC Comics' ragtag group of degenerate delinquents. Alongside the release came a fresh poster for the upcoming movie as well as a new batch of individual character posters showing the star-studded ensemble including Margot Robbie as the much-loved, fun-loving psycho Harley Quinn.

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Although the movie will only be released in the later half of 2021, excitement for The Suicide Squad is already high. Here are some fast facts to prime you for the movie.

Who's directing it?

If the name James Gunn is familiar to you, that's because you knew him from Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) 2014 superhero flick Guardian of the Galaxy and its equally as successful 2017 sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

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Although he was initially dropped from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 due to a series of tweets of sensitive nature Gunn had posted in the past—for which he was deeply apologetic—he was rehired after a very public internet uproar, with fan petitions calling for Gunn’s reinstatement and the Guardians cast jointly expressing support for the director.

Gunn is expected to start production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 once his work on The Suicide Squad is wrapped. This distinguishes him as the first director to make both an MCU movie and a DC movie.

The classic film that inspired Gunn

Gunn has revealed that a 1960s war film inspired The Suicide Squad. The director gave major hints when he uploaded the poster for 1967's The Dirty Dozen on his Instagram, with no other information in its caption save for the hashtags #Inspiration and #thesuicidesquad.

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Directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, and other World War II US veterans, The Dirty Dozen was a box office success. The movie centres on a roguish Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) training a team of soldiers into an elite squad to parachute across enemy lines and assassinate German personnel. The soldiers, recruited from murderers, rapists, and criminals on death row, are promised commuted sentences.

Is it a sequel? Is it not a sequel?

Here's where it gets a little complicated: We all know that the David Ayer-helmed 2016 version was titled Suicide Squad while this upcoming instalment has the additional of 'The' in the front. Naturally, this has caused some confusion.

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Producer Peter Safran confirmed that it isn't a sequel to the 2016 movie, but it's also not not a sequel as there'll be some returning cast and characters. What this means is that while The Suicide Squad will undoubtedly be an extension of the universe that Ayer created, it won't have the same kind of continuity that one would expect a sequel to have, and Gunn had said that Warner Bros. gave him total creative freedom in making it.

The Suicide Squad will largely exist on its own so you can comfortably watch it as a standalone without needing to watch Suicide Squad first.

Look who's back, back again (and then some)

The Suicide Squad will see the return of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn—her third time as the giggly, self-destructive villain. She'll be joined by Viola David who'll reprise her role as agent Amanda Waller; Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, the team’s handler; and Jai Courtney as the Aussie villain Captain Boomerang.

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Other cast members include (deep breath) Idris Elba as Bloodsport, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Steve Agee as John Economos and King Shark, Sylvester Stallone as the voice of King Shark, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, John Cena as Peacemaker, Michael Rooker as Savant, Flula Borg as Javelin, Peter Capaldi as Thinker, Nathan Fillion as TDK, Mayling Ng as Mongal, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Joaquin Cosio as General Mateo Suarez, Juan Diego Botto as Luna, Storm Reid as Tyla, Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt, and Taika Waititi in an unknown role.

Unfortunately, Will Smith is unable to make a comeback as Deadshot and none of the other Birds of Prey characters will be making an appearance in The Suicide Squad either.

Anything could happen

As DC fans continue to teeter on the edge of their seats in sheer excitement, Gunn has wasted no time in doling out teasers. In October 2020, the director reposted a picture showcasing the cast and asked, “What two characters do you think are most likely to survive #TheSuicideSquad?”

A fan offered a guess, saying that Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller, and King Shark have 'franchise armour' while other characters have an 80 per cent chance of dying.

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To which Gunn responded, "No character was protected by DC. They gave me carte blanche to do what I wanted. That was one of the things we agreed to before I came to work for them. I wasn't looking for shock value but I wanted the audience to know anything could happen. #StoryReignsSupreme #TheSuicideSquad."

The reviews have been glowing

Movie critics are generally positive about the movie, with most crediting director Gunn for why it works brilliantly. Owen Gleiberman of Variety opines that "the director of Guardians of the Galaxy delivers the cunningly scuzzy throwaway that the first Suicide Squad should have been."

Here's what the other critics are saying:

Ultimately, 'The Suicide Squad' is a riotously good time at the movies, with Gunn's style making for an entertaining theatrical experience

Molly Freeman, Screen Rant

After 2016’s ugly, bludgeoning 'Suicide Squad', I couldn’t imagine liking — and could barely stomach the idea of seeing — another movie called 'Suicide Squad'. I’m delighted to be proven wrong.

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

Gunn's hyperactive camera bobs, weaves and punches at breakneck pace. So yeah, it's enormous fun.

Richard Trenholm, CNET

(Gunn's) take on 'The Suicide Squad' is unashamedly silly, but crucially never stupid, and keeps the baddies at least morally murky. Most importantly, its primary aim is to be really, really fun.

Olly Richards, Empire Magazine

The film’s extended prologue is a perfect distillation of 'The Suicide Squad' concept, a masterpiece of black comedy action filmmaking and self-aware comic book satire

Scott Mendelson, Forbes

The Suicide Squad will be released in cinemas and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.

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