At first glance, it is easy to understand why Warner Bros. wanted filmmaker James Gunn to helm the upcoming DCEU project The Suicide Squad. Gunn shot to blockbuster stardom with the MCU's Guardians of the Galaxy, about a lovable group of criminal misfits who end up saving the day. It might seem like The Suicide Squad is going to be DC's version of Guardians, but in an interview with Den of Geek, Gunn explained that the Squad has a much more loose moral core than Star-Lord and his crew.
"I think you know from the beginning of the first Guardians that most likely, in his heart, Peter Quill is good, Gamora is good, Rocket is good, Drax is good. [But with the Suicide Squad] some are not good people. They're bad people. It's less sentimental in that way. King Shark is much less sentimental than Groot."
Fans are already hyped for King Shark, who is voiced by Sylvester Stallone, and who appears to be the same kind of cuddly monster as Groot, the living tree from the MCU. But James Gunn seems to indicate that King Shark, much like its animal counterpart, is a more cold-blooded creature.
Still, despite The Suicide Squad being much more gritty and violent than the Guardians of the Galaxy (so much so that the movie has earned a rare R-rating despite being a big superhero flick), making a movie about the DCEU's most violent criminals might actually be a better fit for Gunn than the MCU. As the filmmaker points out, he has made R-rated movies for most of his career, including Super, Slither, and Brightburn.
"Most of my movies have been R-rated. This is simply a little bit of a higher age bracket. And my audience is a little bit different. They can see a shark tearing someone in half, they can see a penis. It doesn't matter."
Of course, an R-rating is not automatically a guarantee of a film's quality. The DCEU in particular has had it both ways with the rating, with the breakout success of Todd Phillips' Joker, and the disappointing returns for Birds of Prey. Still, Gunn seems fairly confident in the movie he has made, and the studio seems to share in his enthusiasm. So much so that Warner has already ordered a Peacemaker spinoff series that will focus on John Cena's character from The Suicide Squad, and will debut on HBO Max.
Written and directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad stars Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Michael Rooker as Savant, Flula Borg as Javelin, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Mayling NG as Mongal, Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, Alice Braga as Solsoria, Sylvester Stallone as King Shark, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Nathan Fillion as TDK, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, John Cena as Peacemaker, with Steve Agee, Taika Waititi and Storm Reid. The film arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6. This news originated at Den of Geek.