James Gunn Talks Killing Off Characters In ‘The Suicide Squad’: “Anything Could Happen”

Dino-Ray Ramos
·4-min read

Fans are sitting on the edge of their seat in anticipation of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, which is set to open in theaters August 6, 2021. A sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 superhero-supervillain pic, the movie has a robust cast of characters. That said, Gunn took to Twitter to address whether or not all of them will survive. The short answer is: no.

In a tweet showcasing the new cast pic on the cover of Empire magazine, Gunn asked “What two characters do you think are most likely to survive #TheSuicideSquad?”

A fan remarked that Harley Quinn, King Shark and Amanda Waller are essentially protected and have “franchise armor” while there is an 80% chance all the other characters will die. 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”

As fans continued to speculate you will get killed and who will be spared in the new Suicide Squad movie, Gunn mentioned that he is curious who they think will survive. He also mentioned he didn’t have time to tally the votes himself as he has a TV series to work on. Of course, he is referring to the Suicide Squad spinoff Peacemaker series for HBO Max.

It should be noted that characters in the Suicide Squad comics would often die. In Ayer’s iteration, we saw Slipknot (Adam Beach) perish almost immediately and El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) also sacrificed himself at the end of the movie for the greater good.

Gunn’s teasing of character deaths may follow in the footsteps of Deadpool 2, which promised the appearance of popular Marvel characters — mostly from the popular comic book team X-Force. The heroes Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Vanisher (Brad Pitt), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgard) and, of course, the all-powerful Peter (Rob Delaney) appeared, but with Deadpool 2’s irreverent charm, they were killed off as soon as they were introduced. Based on Gunn’s own abilities to play with genre and irreverence, it wouldn’t be surprising if he trimmed down the cast in the first act of the movie.

Speaking of characters getting killed, Gunn isn’t a stranger to offing beloved characters in his movies. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 fan-favorite, Yondu (Michael Rooker) was sacrificed and in Super, Boltie (Ellen Page) had a devastating death. Although these deaths were sad, Gunn has good reason for killing them off — it’s all to move the story forward.

“There are angry fans no matter what choice you make,” tweeted Gunn. “I still get hate messages for Yondu dying in #GotGVol2 & Boltie in SUPER. Yet their deaths were integral to the stories (&, for the record, I get a lot MORE messages from folks saying how deeply those deaths affected them).”

As far as bringing characters back from the dead — specifically Yondu — don’t hold your breath. “I get sometimes you can bring back characters in a cool way. But usually, if a character dies, & it’s a meaningful part of the story, the character should stay dead. So unless it’s a flashback, Yondu will stay dead, as far as I’m concerned. Otherwise, it ruins his sacrifice.”

He added, “It really sucks having to tell an actor you’re killing a character they play, especially if they played the character in another film, or if they didn’t die in a first draft. Most of them do not want to die, but every one I’ve told has been mature about it.”

As far as the cast who may or may not die in The Suicide Squad, Viola Davis will reprise her role as Amanda Waller while Joel Kinnaman will play Colonel Rick Flag and Michael Rooker will play Savant. Flula Borg will step into the role of Javelin and of course, Margot Robbie will continue to cause trouble as Harley Quinn. David Dastmalchian will see spots as Polka Dot Man and Daniela Melchior will be Ratcatcher 2. Idris Elba will be armed as Bloodsport and Steve Agee will play King Shark. Mayling Ng will portray Mongal and Peter Capaldi will get brainy as Thinker and Alice Braga will be Sol Soria. Rounding out the bunch is Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Nathan Fillion as TDK, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and John Cena as Peacemaker.

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