The release of Warner Bros.' next DC Comics inspired movie, Suicide Squad, is just over a month away and will sort of serve as a close to the summer movie season. Suicide Squad is the third movie in the DC Extended Universe, and the timeline is already getting a little bit messy. We know a reasonable amount about the characters, plot and even the runtime, but we don't really know when Suicide Squad takes place.
A recent post on Movie Pilot examined some evidence that can help us to figure out when exactly Suicide Squad happens relative to both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even though we can't figure out exactly when the bulk of the movie takes place, we can narrow it down quite a bit. For one, the opening line in the third trailer for the movie confirms that it will at least take place after the events in Man of Steel, because Superman is mentioned by name. This is what David Harbour's as of yet unnamed character says, just to refresh your memory.
"What if Superman had decided to fly down, rip off the roof of the White House, and grab the President right out of the Oval Office? Who would have stopped him?"
There was zero awareness of Superman as Superman prior to the incident in Metropolis at the end of Man of Steel, so that comment ensures that Suicide Squad will be taking place after that movie and implies that the team will be something of a governmental response to the realization of the existence of such powerful beings. That still leaves it pretty open ended as to whether or not Suicide Squad takes place before or after Batman V Superman, which could have a reasonably big effect on the movie. It seems that at least a percentage of the movie will take place before Batman V Superman, but we don't know if all of it will.
In the trailers, there are clear sequences that feature Ben Affleck's Batman dealing with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and Jared Leto's Joker. This appears to be semi early history, at least with Quinn because Batman appears to be saving her after falling off of a bridge into the water. Also, Batman V Superman makes it seem like The Joker had been sort of handled, more or less, so the fact that he is featured in this movie kind of implies that Suicide Squad takes place before Batman V Superman. Its is very possible that the sequences we've seen that feature Batman are the only things that take place prior to Batman V Superman and the rest takes place after.
What is also worth picking apart is that the opening statement from the third Suicide Squad trailer references Superman in a way that seems to imply he is no longer a problem. Given the fact that he died at the end of Batman V Superman, that may imply that Suicide Squad, at least the bulk of it, does indeed take place after Superman's death. We'll find out soon enough. Suicide Squad was directed by David Ayer and comes out on August 5.