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Is The Suicide Squad Canon In The DC Universe? James Gunn Confirms

In 2021, director James Gunn brought his quirky and irreverent style to DC Films with "The Suicide Squad." Acting as a standalone followup to 2016's "Suicide Squad," "The Suicide Squad" saw a group of convicts brought onto a special task force for a mission on a South American island in return for easier prison sentences. For many, the film brought a fresh burst of energy sorely missing in the DC Extended Universe. Now, with the filmmaker's heightened status at DC Studios, does that mean we'll be seeing his delightful deceitful ensemble make a return in the upcoming DC Universe?  

In October 2022, Gunn and Peter Safran were named the new CEOs of DC Studios. The duo later announced their plans for the DC Universe, a shared universe that will include several films, television shows, games, and animated projects. So how does Gunn's first DC directorial effort fit into these plans? On Twitter, user @aaketx_21 asked Gunn if The Detachable Kid (Nathan Fillion), a character who dies at the beginning of "The Suicide Squad," would be resurrected within the new continuity. Gunn's response may upset some fans, with "The Guardians of the Galaxy" director proclaiming, "DC Studios movies (and canon) start with [Superman] Legacy." 

With the answer, Gunn makes it clear that the team will be keeping any DC films prior to the upcoming 2025 Superman movie strictly in their own lane. But just because they won't be joining the new shared universe doesn't mean that there's no potential future for "The Suicide Squad."

Could The Suicide Squad work in DC Elseworlds?

It may be disappointing for some fans to learn that "The Suicide Squad" won't be having a sequel set in the DC Universe. But even if the director has stated there will be no follow-up to the film, that doesn't mean that all hope is lost in seeing these lovable characters make a comeback. 

The DC Universe might be the main attraction of the Warner Bros. superhero slate, but let's not forget about DC Elseworlds. This label coincides with any works that don't fit into the larger shared universe of the DCU. This includes high-profile projects like Todd Phillip's "Joker" and its upcoming sequel, "Joker: Folie à Deux," Matt Reeves' ongoing BatVerse, animated shows such as "Harley Quinn" and "Teen Titans Go!," and select entries from DC's ongoing animated films. Additionally, Gunn is not canceling out the events of the DC Extended Universe entirely, saying in an interview with SlashFilm, "Some things are like a rough memory of what happens in the DCU. But once we hit 'Superman,' anything can be changed."

While it may be a stretch to assume that such change would include Gunn retroactively adding a sequel to "The Suicide Squad" in the DCU, it's not hard to imagine him making room for his oddball gang of anti-heroes in the vast realms of DC Elseworlds. Until then, fans can look forward to the upcoming "Peacemaker" Season 2 and "Waller" series confirmed by Gunn.