James Gunn says he read every single comic book involving his characters in The Suicide Squad. The director had already read a lot of the source material, but went back and read it all again, along with extra stories outside of the original comics that included his characters. That's a lot of reading, but in the end, it's what helps Gunn nail the essence of the characters while being able to try new things and stray, much like he did with Guardians of the Galaxy.
It seems like a pretty basic idea, but not everybody gets into the comic book source material when making a movie for Marvel or DC. In order to pull off a project in a sincere way, James Gunn thinks that it's necessary to go in and read it all. Gunn was asked on social media if he had consultants helping while making The Suicide Squad. The director had this to say in response.
"I've read all the comics I can concerning the characters I'm writing. For instance, I've read every single comic featuring every iteration of The Suicide Squad & probably 85% of everything Harley Quinn has ever been in up until the time of shooting."
For those wondering how he got his hands on all of the material for Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, James Gunn revealed that both Marvel and DC provide him with the copies that he does not have. He likes to hold the physical editions, so he reads those and stays away from the digital sources. Gunn then went on to amend his first answer about all of the comics, stating, "I should say reread. I was a huge fan or the Ostrander/Yale and Glass runs on Squad, and love so many Harley stories, so had already read them once."
James Gunn likes to dive deep into his characters and their stories before setting out to make a movie. With that attention to detail, it's no wonder why his movies work with comic book fans and people who are only familiar with the big screen stories. This is more than likely why a lot of people are looking forward to see what he pulled off with The Suicide Squad. Gunn thinks that "even if they [directors] stray far from the material (which is sometimes a good choice), they should know what they're straying from."
The Suicide Squad is currently in the post-production process and James Gunn is fortunate enough to be able to edit from home. Principal photography was able to wrap before the world's current state of affairs took over, so Gunn and Warner Bros. are also lucky about that. For now, it looks like the long-awaited movie should be able to hit theaters on its scheduled release date in August 2021. You can check out James Gunn's Twitter comments on getting intimate with comic book source material below.