It's officially official: DC has confirmed that James Gunn will indeed at least write, and possibly direct Suicide Squad 2. Several outlets recently reported that the man behind the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, who was fired by Disney over the summer due to some old, offensive tweets that resurfaced online, had indeed been tapped to take on the sequel. But now DC has stepped up to confirm the news themselves. This is really happening.
The news was confirmed on a recent episode of the DC Daily video podcast. The company wasted no time in proudly proclaiming this very interesting bit of information to be true. Disney may have felt the need to part ways with James Gunn, but other studios were eager to work with him and the fact that he's making the jump from Marvel to DC is more than a little symbolic. Here's what host Tiffany Smith had to say about it.
"It's official that we have got a new member of the DC family: acclaimed writer/director James Gunn has been attached to write Suicide Squad 2. Gunn is poised to bring a completely fresh take to the franchise after the first film was written and directed by David Ayer."
As had also been previously reported, they're saying that James Gunn will be writing a new story from scratch. Gavin O'Connor (The Accountant) had previously written a draft of the screenplay. However, the recently greenlit Birds of Prey apparently had a very similar story and, since that movie is filming first, O'Connor departed the project. That paved the way for Gunn to come in and start clean. David Ayer had a negative experience with Warner Bros. during the editing process on the first Suicide Squad, so it was never likely that he would return for the sequel.
This means that any rumors we had heard previously regarding Suicide Squad 2 tell us precisely nothing. James Gunn, it sounds like, will have a reasonable amount of creative freedom in crafting a new story. The filmmaker had been on deck to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 prior to Disney letting him go. Aside from the new story, Gunn coming on board could mean big things for the sequel. For one, Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the Guardians movies, has already expressed interest in boarding the project. There is also some beef between Jared Leto and Gunn, which could mean that his version of the Joker is left out of the movie entirely.
For the time being, Suicide Squad 2 is without a release date. The sequel entered development shortly after the first movie was released, which was a huge hit at the box office but wasn't received particularly well. That has led to a long and troubled development process. Hopefully, James Gunn can get things on the right track. What will it take to get him to actually commit to the director's chair? That remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see how this unfolds as development moves along. You can check out the full episode of DC Daily from the DC YouTube channel for yourself below.