We have some new details regarding James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. This project has really been taking shape as of late. We learned last year that Warner Bros. had tapped Gunn to pen the screenplay for the long-gestating sequel after Disney fired him as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Gunn is also on board to direct and, ever since that news was confirmed, we've been hearing lots of details about the project. Now, we know what his new team is going to look like.
It had previously been reported that James Gunn would look to bring in several new characters not seen in 2016's Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer, as this is being positioned as a soft reboot of sorts, while still taking place within the same continuity. According to a new report, those new characters have been revealed and they include Ratcatcher, Polka-Dot Man, Peacemaker and King Shark. They will be featured alongside Deadshot, who will return from the previous installment. However, Will Smith recently dropped out over scheduling issues and it has been revealed that Idris Elba is in talks to replace him in the role. It's also expected that Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn.
As for who these characters are exactly? Ratcatcher, aka Otis Flannegan, is a villain in Gotham City that started life as an exterminator before turning to a life of crime. The report states that the plan is to gender-swap this character for the movie. He, or she in this case, has an army of rats that obey her commands. King Shark, aka Nanaue, may be the son of a shark god, or may just be a horrible mutation. Either way, he's a walking, talking, gigantic shark-person. Polka-Dot Man has the ability to grow polka-dots on his body that can be used as weapons and also resides in Gotham. Peacemaker, aka Christopher Smith, is a lover of peace that uses extreme methods, such as murder, to accomplish it.
It's doubtful that casual comic book fans are familiar with any of these characters. Though, King Shark has been featured on The Flash over on The CW, so he does have some street cred. Their lack of A-list status in the pages of DC Comics is not necessarily a knock. In that same respect, few were familiar with the likes of Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) or Diablo (Jay Hernandez) prior to the previous movie. And, to make a larger point, Guardians of the Galaxy was a very obscure property before James Gunn helped turn it into a $1 billion franchise.
One interesting wrinkle is that James Gunn is said to see Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the Guardians franchise, as Peacemaker. Bautista has been particularly critical of Disney's decision to fire Gunn in the first place and previously voiced his desire to join the filmmaker's DC project. The Suicide Squad is looking to begin production later this year and is set to arrive in theaters on August 6, 2021. This news was first reported by Collider.