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All the Suicide Squad 2 rumors and spoilers leaked so far

If the critics had any say in the matter, the Suicide Squad film franchise would never see a second installment. Adapted from DC Comics' series about supervillains strong-armed into working for the government, 2016's Suicide Squad may have earned a horrible Rotten Tomatoes rating, but with a total gross approaching $750 million, it proved to be one of the DCEU's most successful films. So no matter how few stars critics gave the first one, we know a second one's coming. 

There's a lot we still don't know. We don't know exactly who will be in the film, or what character lineup to expect. Love it or hate it, Suicide Squad is conceptually unique in today's crowd of big-budget superhero flicks. Just about any DC bad guy who ever showed up in the panels is a candidate for Amanda Waller's Task Force X. In the comics there aren't that many villains who haven't taken at least a turn or two in the Squad, and for quite a few their time in Task Force X was their last time anywhere.

If you want to know everything that's surfaced about the second film, here's all the rumors and spoilers leaked so far about the sequel to Suicide Squad

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Gunn in different hands

James Gunn — writer and director of Marvel Studios' first two Guardians of the Galaxy films — was infamously booted from the director's chair of the upcoming (we hope) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the wake of controversy regarding years-old tweets. Guardians actors defended their director — most notably Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in Marvel's films — but at first, Disney held firm in its decision. 

Marvel's initial loss proved to be Warner Bros.' gain. In October 2018, news dropped that Gunn was tapped to write the sequel to Suicide Squad. At the time the possibility of Gunn directing was raised, but wasn't confirmed. In January 2019, THR reported that the Marvel Studios exile was indeed negotiating to not only write, but direct the villainous squad's next adventure.

The October 2018 announcement included a promise of a "completely new take" on Task Force X, which brought into question whether or not cast members from the first film would be returning. It's a question that's still up in the air, but we do know a little bit about Gunn's plans… including the possibility that the sequel to Suicide Squad may not be a sequel in the strictest sense. 

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A new brand of Suicide

When announcing James Gunn was aiming for the director's chair in January 2019, THR reported that Gunn's plans for Task Force X did not include a direct sequel. According to THR, Gunn's film will be titled The Suicide Squad and will "relaunch" the franchise with a "mostly all-new cast of characters and actors." Gunn has a large toybox of characters from which to choose. The Suicide Squad comic has featured dozens of different DC supervillains and there are plenty of Squad regulars — examples include Bronze Tiger, Count Vertigo, King Shark, and Black Spider — who are still waiting to appear on the big screen. THR said The Suicide Squad will be "rooted in Gunn's vibe," which most likely means we can expect the same unique blend of action, humor, and drama the director brought to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy films. 

Since THR's initial report, we've learned Gunn's The Suicide Squad will be even more of a departure from David Ayers' film than we originally thought. While THR described Gunn's film as a "soft reboot" — whatever that means — apparently it's going to be anything but "soft."

Speaking to JoBloAquaman and Shazam! producer Peter Safran spilled a few details. "First of all, we don't call it Suicide Squad 2 'cause it's a total reboot," Safran said. He went on to say audiences should feel "pretty excited" about the upcoming film and praised Gunn's work, saying, "It's everything you would hope from a James Gunn script."

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Drax wants in

No other Guardians of the Galaxy star was as vocal as Dave Bautista about his disagreement with Disney's decision to fire Gunn. He went so far as to call working for Disney "nauseating" after Gunn's firing, and even threatened to break his contract and refuse to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 if Disney didn't use Gunn's script for the film. So it should come as no surprise that almost as soon as it was announced James Gunn would be working on The Suicide Squad, Bautista was congratulating his Guardians director on Twitter, sending followers a link to the breaking story and opening his tweet with "Where do I sign up!"

Bautista's tweet inspired a quick response, with fans speculating who the former WWE star should play in The Suicide Squad. One of the more common nominations was Bane — the ruthless strongman who famously broke Batman's back and was first portrayed in live action by Tom Hardy in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. The choice has promise; while the Bane of the comics was only briefly a member of Suicide Squad, he was a regular in the comic book Secret Six, which — like Suicide Squad – featured supervillains as protagonists (including signature Task Force X member Deadshot).

There's been no word from either Gunn or Bautista about whether or not they'll be working together on The Suicide Squad, but at BossLogicfans are already drawing the Bane they hope Bautista will be. 

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Suicide in 2021

In January 2019 — the same day they reported on James Gunn writing The Suicide Squad – THR confirmed a scheduled release month for the relaunch: August 2021. At the same time, they reported Warner Bros would be releasing DC Super Pets and The Batman the same year. 

Since Suicide Squad's 2016 release, there have been plenty of questions about whether or not there would even be a sequel. Writing duties have changed hands several times and it was never clear whether David Ayer would be returning to the director's chair. As early as February 2017, rumors were circulating that Mel Gibson was being courted to helm the sequel. So while we finally have Gunn confirmed as writer, and possibly director, of the follow-up film, it shouldn't be too surprising that there will ultimately be five years between the first and second movies. 

It may be that the extra time will work in The Suicide Squad's favor. With Gunn reportedly pursuing a new direction with a largely new cast, the added time may allow memories of the first movie to fade and pave the way for a fresh start.

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To Harley, or not to Harley

In February 2019, Forbes reported that in spite of the character's unquestionable popularity, Margot Robbie wouldn't be reprising her role as Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad. As THR reported in January, Forbes wrote in their piece about the state of the DCEU that Quinn was being jettisoned from the Suicide Squad franchise as part of Gunn's "rethinking of the property" and the "new flavor" he wanted to bring to it. Though Robbie's days as Harley Quinn aren't over, as she will be appearing in the upcoming Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

But that wasn't the end of the story. The week after publishing the story online, Forbes (via /Film) contributor Mark Hughes posted a correction, saying that he had been wrong about no home for Harley in the follow-up. Hughes wrote "I have learned from sources close to production that in fact…[Robbie as Harley Quinn] is indeed expected to appear in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, which is expected to begin production later this year."

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Farewell Deadshot

In late February 2019, Variety reported that Will Smith had opted to not reprise his role as Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot — the sharpshooter assassin Smith played in 2016's Suicide Squad. Thankfully for all parties, Variety says there's no bad blood between Smith and Warner Bros.; Instead, it looks like scheduling is to blame for Smith backing away from the sequel. 

While James Gunn has been planning for a supposed "soft reboot" for the property and the casting of The Suicide Squad is still very much uncertain, Variety reports that Warner Bros. was hoping Smith would be one of the actors to return. There's no word yet if Deadshot's character will be left out of The Suicide Squad or if the character will be recast. If Deadshot is M.I.A., it will be somewhat fitting. In the comics he's proven to be one of the most consistent presences in the various Task Force X rosters, but they're much more fluid than other funnybook super-teams. A Suicide Squad movie with no Deadshot might be regrettable, but the character isn't as integral as Chris Evans' Captain America would be to an Avengers movie. 

ScreenRant's Cooper Hood has proposed a promising fix — plucking Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke out of DCEU limbo and using him to replace Smith. 

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Welcome back, Deadshot

If reports are to be believed, when it comes to filling the vacant role of Deadshot, it didn't take long for The Suicide Squad filmmakers to take aim. 

Not long after the February 2019 announcement that Will Smith would be bowing out of the role of gun-for-hire Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, THR reported that MCU veteran Idris Elba was in talks to replace Smith in the part. According to the story, Elba met with James Gunn in early March 2019 and the discussion "went so swimmingly" that Elba was ready to dive right into negotiations for the role. 

It's an interesting development, particularly considering some of the less-than-glowing comments that surfaced from Elba while playing the Asgardian gatekeeper Heimdall in Marvel Studios' films. Elba played Heimdall for all three Thor films, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and finally Avengers: Infinity War, when his character was murdered by Thanos (Josh Brolin). Elba raised a few eyebrows when he expressed frustration with working on Marvel movies in a 2014 interview with The Telegraph. If Elba's willing to jump back into the world of the super so soon after Thanos liberated him from the role of Heimdall, then that chat with Gunn really must have gone "swimmingly." 

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Farewell Flagg

In the same story that announced Idris Elba was gunning for the role of Deadshot, THR reported — almost as a footnote — that sources were telling them Joel Kinnaman would not be reprising his role as Task Force X watchdog Rick Flagg. 

The story said that while most of the cast of 2016's Suicide Squad would be set aside for newer blood, there were three characters in particular that were expected to return — Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Rick Flagg. But in terms of Flagg, sources are conflicting. Some say Kinnaman is expected to return, and others say the character will be jettisoned. 

Clearly we'll have to wait a bit to know for sure. What would be interesting is if Rick Flagg does appear in the sequel and Kinnaman steps down from the role, forcing filmmakers to recast the part. With Deadshot recast and potentially Flagg, eventually we might just be able to call the sequel Suicide Squad: The Recasting. Find something for Don Cheadle; he's used to it.

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Sharks, rats, and polka dots

The day after the news broke of Idris Elba being courted for the role of Deadshot, Collider reported that they knew who some of Task Force X's other members would be. 

One of those members wouldn't come as much of a surprise to fans of the Suicide Squad comic. King Shark, the savage and super strong man-shark, was one of the characters Collider predicted, and the choice makes sense. When DC rebooted its entire superhero comic book universe in 2011 with "The New 52," King Shark became one of the Squad's first members. Likewise, he accompanied the Squad and Batman in the 2014 animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham. Finally, on March 5, 2019 — only two days before Collider's report — the character appeared prominently on CW's The Flash in the episode "King Shark vs. Gorilla Grodd."

Some of the other characters… well, if Collider's report is to be believed, then Gunn isn't exactly pulling from DC's A-list of bad guys. The site says Suicide Squad's roster will include two Batman villains that you have to assume are on Bruce Wayne's "let Robin handle them" list. There will be a female version of the Ratcatcher, a former exterminator who commits crimes with an army of rats she controls. And — pay attention in case you plan on betting real money on who dies first — the Polka-Dot Man. Yep. Polka. Dot. Man.

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Drax the Peacemaker

Along with King Shark, Ratcatcher, and Polka-Dot Man, Collider reported that James Gunn's version of the Suicide Squad will include the Silver Age vigilante the Peacemaker.

The Peacemaker is a violent pacifist (no, really) who believes in peace so much he's willing to kill to achieve it. When Peacemaker first appeared on the comic book stands, it was as part of the now-defunct Charlton Comics, whose superhero properties were acquired by DC Comics. He's also one the Charlton refugees Alan Moore wanted to use for Watchmen When DC editor Dick Girodiano told Moore that DC wanted to save the Charlton characters for other things, Moore replaced the Charlton superheroes with his own altered versions of them. It was the Peacemaker who supplied the framework for Moore and Dave Gibbons' replacement the Comedian, whose murder sets the events of Watchmen in motion.

Collider also said that regardless of how much fans might want Dave Bautisa to play Batman-back-breaker Bane in The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker is Bautista's more likely destination. Bautista openly expressed interest in working on The Suicide Squad as soon as it was announced that James Gunn would be working on it, and according to Collider Peacemaker is the role Gunn wants for the Guardians of the Galaxy star.

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El Dorado

According to Production Weekly (via CBR), The Suicide Squad will be under the working title El Dorado once it enters production. 

There's no indication exactly why El Dorado was chosen, if indeed there is a reason relevant to the film's story. The name is usually associated with a legendary city in South America whose very structures and roads were said to be made of solid gold. The city has been the subject of numerous films, and it's a popular subject in music as well. Everyone from the '80s punk band Agent Orange to metal gods Iron Maiden and alt-rockers Death Cab for Cutie has recorded an "El Dorado" song — and Shakira has her 2017 album El Dorado

Of course, as a working title El Dorado doesn't necessarily have to have any connection whatsoever with the film's story, though it'd be pretty great if it means James Gunn plans to make The Suicide Squad an animated musical.

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Guardians won't slow down the Squad

The beginning of 2019 was a good time for The Suicide Squad writer/director James Gunn. In Mid-March, Deadline broke possibly the best news of the year thus far — that Disney had rehired James Gunn as the director for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

While most MCU fans were likely over the moon at hearing the news, fans of DC Comics' adaptations might have been a little concerned. After all, if Gunn was back on Guardians, did that mean he'd drop The Suicide Squad like a bad habit and go running back home?

According to Aquaman and Shazam! producer Peter Safran, the answer to that is a definitive no. Speaking to JoBlo, Safran said, "It was all handled incredibly elegantly and everybody knows on both sides that Suicide Squad is the priority today." Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Safran said, will be Gunn's next film after The Suicide Squad. That means, according to ScreenRant, Guardians fans will have to wait until 2023 at the earliest for the third installment of the MCU series.