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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 know what actors to expect on the screen, but in a lot of cases we still don't know for certain who's playing what role. 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

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 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 their decision. They later reversed it, meaning Gunn will indeed be back at the helm for Vol. 3... eventually.

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. 

A new Squad

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."

Bautista showed interest in joining The Suicide Squad

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!"

At the time, Collider named Dave Bautista as the frontrunner for the role of Peacemaker. Bautista openly expressed interest in working on The Suicide Squad as soon as it was announced that James Gunn would be attached. A lot of fans hoped Bautista would instead be up for the role of famed Batman-back-breaker Bane, but Collider said that sources told them Peacemaker was the former WWE star's more likely destination.

In June 2019, Bautista confirmed he'd spoken to Gunn about playing Peacemaker, but apparently it wasn't meant to be. In the official cast list Gunn posted on social media in September 2019, Baustista's name was missing. A few months earlier, Variety reporter Justin Kroll said Bautista had to bow out for scheduling reasons. It looks like he'll have to wait until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to collaborate once more with Gunn as our favorite literal-minded warrior, Drax the Destroyer.

What's the release date for The Suicide Squad?

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. 

In April 2020 — amidst word of multiple film and TV production delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic — Gunn calmed fans' fears that The Suicide Squad's release date might become another casualty. Asked by a fan on Twitter about a potential delay, Gunn responded, "We are still on schedule as of now." So, until we hear more, assume Task Force X will be returning to theaters in August 2021.

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."

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 had already been planning for a supposed "soft reboot," Variety reports that Warner Bros. was hoping Smith would be one of the actors to return. If Deadshot is M.I.A., that's 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 proposed a promising fix — plucking Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke out of DCEU limbo and using him to replace Smith. 

Elba in, Deadshot still out

It initially looked like filmmakers were aiming to recruit Idris Elba to fill Will Smith's shoes in the role of Deadshot. But in April 2019, we learned those reports were only half right.  

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. 

In April 2019 Variety reported Gunn's mind changed; Elba signed on for The Suicide Squad, but not as Deadshot. In fact, Gunn reportedly no longer wants Deadshot in the sequel at all. Whatever Gunn's main motivation for this change proves to be, Variety's Justin Kroll wrote that one reason is that removing Deadshot from The Suicide Squad "keeps the door open" for Will Smith's return in a future installment, though chances for such a return admittedly appear "slim."

Elba = Deathstroke?

In May 2019, rumors spread about the character Idris Elba would be playing in The Suicide SquadGeeks WorldWide reported they'd learned James Gunn was looking to cast a woman in the role of Elba's character's daughter. Based on that, the site came up with two guesses as to the character he'd be playing, starting with the strangely named DC villain Sportsmaster, who has a daughter named Artemis in the comics. GWW theorized that given Gunn's "affinity for more obscure and wacky characters," Sportsmaster would be the more likely choice.

But the guess most fans seem to be pegging their hopes on is mercenary Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, who enjoys something of a love/hate relationship with his deadly daughter Rose, a.k.a. Ravager. In the comics, Deathstroke's had dealings with the Squad, including joining the team only to ultimately turn on them in their 2014 New Suicide Squad relaunch. 

If Elba is playing Deathstroke, then it raises the question of whether this casting is the final nail in the coffin of Joe Manganiello's hopes to play Slade Wilson. He portrayed Deathstroke in a post-credits scene for 2017's Justice League, and rumors circulated of Manganiello as Slade Wilson in The Batman when Ben Affleck was still attached to direct and possibly a solo Deathstroke film.

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."

As for the other characters... well, Collider revealed that Gunn wouldn't exactly be pulling from DC's A-list of bad guys. The site reported that the 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.

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 the former WWE star'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, Gunn was rumored at one point to be eyeing his Guardians of the Galaxy collaborator for Peacemaker.

El Dorado

According to Production Weekly (via CBR), The Suicide Squad entered preproduction under the working title El Dorado

There was initially 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.

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. 

Boomerang coming back around

The question of just how "soft" a reboot James Gunn's The Suicide Squad will be — or whether the word "reboot" should be used at all — seems to get more complicated with every related news story, and it grew a little more complex with the news of an alumnus of 2016's Suicide Squad returning to Task Force X.

Talking to Business Insider in March 2019, Jai Courtney confirmed he would reprise the role of Captain Boomerang in the upcoming sequel/reboot/whatever it ends up being. Courtney said he wasn't free to reveal too many details, but added that The Suicide Squad would be shooting in "a few months' time" and that he was glad to be back in the fold. "I'm happy, it's going to be fun," Courtney said. "It will be different, for sure, but it's going to be great."

The news was something of a surprise, as the rumblings up to that point had suggested that while the studio was hoping for the returns of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis to their roles, the rest of the cast would likely be replaced. Apparently, master criminals like the Ratcatcher and the Polka-Dot Man will need the help of a couple more Suicide Squad veterans than originally planned.

An alien queen

In early April 2019, a rumor surfaced about another character appearing in the film, though with no indication as to whether it would be a Task Force X member or an antagonist. Originating with Revenge of the Fans writer and Editor-In-Chief Mario-Francisco Robles, the rumor tells us writer/director James Gunn is looking for a "monstrous femme fatale... A surly, muscular alien woman. The kind of character that'll require heavy use of prosthetics." 

Nobles didn't make too many guesses about who the character might be, and at the time there wasn't enough information to pin it down. But in October 2019, set photos surfaced with many of The Suicide Squad's cast in costume, including what appears to be Mayling Ng made to look like the DC villain Mongal.

Everything about Mongal fits perfectly with the description in the earlier report. Like her father and twin brother — each named Mongul — Mongal is an alien tyrant with the kind of physical power that makes her a match for many of DC's strongest heroes. The "heavy use of prosthetics" is evident in the set photos, and Ng clearly has the muscles to make Mongal work.

Viola Davis is back in command of the Squad

In April 2019, TheWrap reported that Viola Davis, who played Amanda Waller in 2016's Suicide Squad, would return for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad. Waller is the no-nonsense head of Task Force X, who Squad members often refer to as "The Wall." She's a manipulator of Machiavellian proportions, and to say she cares little about the welfare of the prisoners under her care would be giving her too much credit. In Suicide Squad we see her go so far as personally murdering a number of her own agents — with Rick Flagg and Deadshot as witnesses — to secure her secrets. 

Viola Davis' return isn't a huge surprise considering early reports suggested she was one of the Suicide Squad stars Warner Bros. was hoping would return. But with Joel Kinnaman returning as Rick Flagg, Jai Courtney reprising Captain Boomerang, and now Davis returning as Amanda Waller, the question keeps coming up of just how much of a "soft reboot" The Suicide Squad could possibly be. 

Cena on the Squad

April and May 2019 were busy months for The Suicide Squad casting reports. A couple of weeks after TheWrap broke the story of Viola Davis' return, Variety reported professional wrestler John Cena was in talks to join the cast. Cena has no shortage of action and comedy acting roles to his credit, and James Gunn — having worked with Dave Bautista on both Guardians of the Galaxy films — clearly has no issues working with wrestlers. 

In April 2019, Variety reporter Justin Kroll tweeted that John Cena was in talks to play the vigilante 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 in 1983. He's also one of 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.

Gunn's September 2019 cast list announcement confirmed Cena's involvement in the film. Photos have since surfaced of Cena on the set of The Suicide Squad, but there's nothing in the pics to indicate who he'll be playing.

Connecting the dots

David Dastmalchian is no stranger to superhero stories. His first credited film role is as a Joker henchman beaten for information by Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in 2004's The Dark Knight. He also played the villain Abra Kadabra on CW's The Flash and a cult member in two episodes of Gotham. More recently he played Kurt, the Eastern European hacker, who helps Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) with the other "Wombats" in 2015's Ant-Man and its 2018 sequel Ant-Man and The Wasp.

At the end of April 2019, The Hollywood Reporter announced Dastmalchian had been promoted from TV villain and movie henchmen roles to be cast in The Suicide Squad. Specifically, THR said Dastmalchian would play one of the most bizarre characters we know about in connection with this movie — the Polka-Dot Man. Usually a Batman villain, the Polka-Dot Man hides an array of weapons and other devices all over his outfit. Each polka-dot on his costume could be an instrument of death. 

The THR report calls the casting "a leveling up of sorts" for Dastmalchian professionally. We're a bit skeptical, however. While it is the first time Dastmalchian will portray a superhero or villain on the big screen, considering the Suicide Squad is named for its sometimes high mortality rate and that Dastmalchian is playing someone called the Polka-Dot Man, we're not sure the guy's going to survive the first half hour.

Ratcatcher caught

When Collider first reported in March 2019 that they knew some of the names of The Suicide Squad's team members, one of the names was Ratcatcher — a traditionally male villain who controls an army of rats. The Collider story specified Ratcatcher would be gender-swapped, and would be played by a woman. 

A day after the news broke of David Dastmalchian's casting as Polka-Dot Man, Variety reported Portugese actress Daniela Melchior had been tapped for the role of the female Ratcatcher in The Suicide Squad. Melchior is relatively new to acting; her first acting credit came on the Portugese television program Mulheres in 2014, and the rest of her credits are for either TV shows or films produced in Portugal. The Suicide Squad will mark her first work on an American-based film. 

Variety's story also notes that Melchior's version of Ratcatcher has "some connection to whomever [Idris] Elba ends up playing." However, that doesn't necessarily shed any new light on Elba's character, as in the comics neither Sportsmaster nor Deathstroke have any specific connection to Ratcatcher. No one really seems to want to have any connection to Ratcatcher. He talks to rats. He's creepy.

The Rooker who would NOT be King

In early May 2019, TheWrap reported that Michael Rooker was in talks to play the vicious and powerful villain King Shark in The Suicide Squad. The character had previously been reported to be one of the DC Comics bad guys appearing in the film along with Ratcatcher, the Polka-Dot Man, and the Peacemaker. It wasn't a difficult report to believe, considering Rooker already has a history collaborating with James Gunn. Rooker played Peter Quill's (Chriss Pratt) adoptive father Yondu in both Guardians films. He also worked with Gunn in 2006's Slither and 2010's Super.

Unfortunately for any fans hoping to see Rooker play DC's favorite man-shark, the actor quickly shot down the reports. On his Facebook page, Rooker wrote "No. This is NOT true." Likewise, Rooker posted a link to one of the King Shark reports on his Instagram and responded "DA...........NOT!!!" In case any fans were clinging on to the hope maybe Rooker would appear — just not as King Shark — the actor wrote, "This is not true news... I am not cast in this movie......."

And yet, in Gunn's September 2019 cast list, Michael Rooker's name appears. So we know he'll be in The Suicide Squad, but not who he'll be playing. Clearly, either something changed between Rooker's social media denials in May and Gunn's announcement in September, or Rooker and his agent need to work on their communication.

The Collector collected?

The day after the debunked Rooker/King Shark story, Geeks WorldWide named another Guardians of the Galaxy veteran as being looked at for The Suicide Squad, but this time as an antagonist for Task Force X. The site said their sources told them Benicio del Toro — who played the enigmatic Collector in Thor: The Dark WorldGuardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Infinity War — was the filmmakers' top choice for the unnamed opponent to the Suicide Squad. 

GWW went on to say the villain was being called simply "The Mayor" at this point and that he's an "irascible old warrior who lives for war." They also said Antonio Banderas was being considered for the part at one point, but didn't say anything about why Banderas was no longer the top choice.

At this point, it looks likely either either Del Toro was never in talks for the film or the discussions happened but nothing came of them. Del Toro's name doesn't appear on the cast list James Gunn posted in September 2019, and his name doesn't seem like one you'd leave out. Unless he has a surprise role in the film — which, considering how much of The Suicide Squad's story details are being kept under wraps, is certainly possible.

The General and the Creature

In mid-May 2019 Geeks WorldWide reported the site had gotten ahold of a sample script sent out to talent agencies for auditions. While GWW points out such samples usually don't have a lot to do with the film's actual story, these samples seem different. 

The piece of the sample presented by GWW features a character called the General — the antagonist Benicio del Toro is rumored to have been tapped to play — speaking to someone marked simply as "Unknown." The General tells the story of a creature referred to only as "the beast" that the "Lloreta family" used to take out its enemies. Now the General has control of this beast and he tells the unknown character that he intends to send anyone who speaks out against him to "feed the beast."

GWW speculates this beast could be the "monstrous femme fatale" Revenge of the Fans reported the filmmakers were looking for in April. They also have a theory about James Gunn borrowing from Gavin O'Connor's Suicide Squad 2 script. Apparently, it features Supergirl being mind-controlled by the villains and used against the Squad. Considering the Revenge of the Fans report specifies that, like Supergirl, the woman they mean to cast is a powerful alien, GWW may be onto something.

The Flag is raised

It's been rumored for a while but now we know for sure — at the end of May 2019, it was confirmed that Joel Kinnaman will be reprising his role as Rick Flag for The Suicide Squad. The confirmation was widely reported after Kinnaman posted a selfie on Instagram taken at a shooting range. The accompanying text said that Kinnaman was at the range "Easing into that squad preppppp...."

Until now the stories regarding Kinnaman's involvement have been conflicting. At the same time they broke the news of Idris Elba's involvement with the sequel in March, THR initially reported that Kinnaman wouldn't be around for the second film. That same month Kinnaman told Metro he couldn't "confirm or deny" his return, and in April Discussing Film claimed he was a lock. 

Elba = The Tiger?

It seems like there are as many rumors about Idris Elba's character in The Suicide Squad as there are about any single actor appearing in the film. First the word was he was replacing Will Smith as Deadshot. Then, once the sharpshooting assassin was taken off the table, the two most likely rogues became Deathstroke and the unfortunately named Sportsmaster. In late May 2019, Forbes' Mark Hughes proposed a different candidate while reporting on Robert Pattinson's casting in The Batman. According to Hughes, Elba "could be playing Bronze Tiger." 

It's a choice that makes sense. While he hasn't been in the most recent Suicide Squad comics, Ben Turner a.k.a. Bronze Tiger was one of the original members of the Squad in DC's first series to feature the leashed supervillains as protagonists. Bronze Tiger has been a mainstay in the Squad for quite a few of its incarnations. Michael Jai White occasionally appears as Bronze Tiger on CW's Arrow, and he's one of the villains featured in that show's answer to Task Force X. Bronze Tiger was also a Squad member in the 2018 animated feature Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Billy Brown. 

Bronze Tiger makes at least as much sense, if not more, than the other major candidates for Elba's casting. While Sportsmaster and Deathstroke both have history with the Suicide Squad, neither of them appear in the comics as much as Bronze Tiger. Time will tell. 

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad?

In June 2019, We Got This Covered reported that Warner Bros. is considering a Justice League vs. Suicide Squad movie, provided both The Suicide Squad and a future Justice League reboot prove successful. 

A foundation has already been built for such a clash in the source material. The first event of DC Comics' "Rebirth" era was a Justice League vs. Suicide Squad crossover that began at the end of 2016 and continued through 2017, running through the titles for each of the dueling teams as well as a Justice League vs. Suicide Squad mini-series. There was also that mid-credits scene in David Ayer's Suicide Squad, with Bruce Wayne threatening Amanda Waller that if she doesn't shut down Task Force X, he and his "friends" will do it for her, hinting that long before James Gunn came on board for The Suicide Squad, such a clash was in the back of someone's mind. 

With The Suicide Squad still two years away from release and no official word on any kind of Justice League reboot, it'll be a long time before we know anything about this for sure. Regardless, considering the line-ups of each team, it seems like a conflict waiting to happen. 

Manta wants in

In mid-June 2019 at Celebrity Fan Fest, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who plays the vengeful Manta in 2018's Aquaman said he'd be interested in working alongside Harley Quinn and the rest of Task Force X. 

One of the more recent comic incarnations of the team includes Manta as a pivotal member, beginning with DC's relaunch of the title in 2014 with New Suicide Squad #1. He not only becomes the Squad leader, but — considering some of his teammates during New Suicide Squad include Harley Quinn, Joker's Daughter, and Reverse-Flash — he's one of the most mentally stable Task Force X recruits for the entire series. 

With the full cast of The Suicide Squad revealed and Abdul-Mateen's name not on the list, we probably won't be seeing him as one of Amanda Waller's "volunteers" any time soon. Still, assuming Manta survives the inevitable Aquaman sequel, there's no reason he couldn't jump on board for The Suicide Squad 2.

Silent Bob is keeping quiet

Kevin Smith, famous for (among many other things) the role of Silent Bob, is keeping far more true to his fictional persona than his usual talkative self when it comes to the inside info he has on The Suicide Squad. Of course, with Silent Bob, being mostly silent doesn't mean being completely silent. 

During his Fatman Beyond podcast, Smith asked if anyone knew who the villain for The Suicide Squad was. Met with no correct answers, the writer/director said, "Alright, I do, and I just can't say it then." Smith went on to explain that David Dastmalchian — who will be playing the Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad — told Smith who the main antagonist was going to be and then swore him to secrecy. Whoever it is, lifetime comic book fan/store owner Kevin Smith is clearly happy with the choice. 

"I'm not gonna spill it," Smith promised, "but if it is what I heard, it is f***ing phenomenal... and boy, is it in the right hands with James Gunn."

Filming began in September '19 with Henry Braham as cinematographer

In late June 2019, unconfirmed reports surfaced that The Suicide Squad would begin filming in September in Georgia, specifically in Atlanta. Not only have those reports been confirmed, but the starting date that was originally reported was a few days late. Rumors stated the movie would begin filming on September 23 (and wrap on January 31, 2020), but by September 20 James Gunn announced filming had already begun. When a fan asked Gunn on Instagram if he was going to start filming on Monday, Gunn responded, "I am shooting right now today!!"

In early July, we learned The Suicide Squad had recruited Henry Braham as its cinematographer. Among other projects, Braham was the director of photography for 2019's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and 2016's The Legend of Tarzan, and worked with Gunn once before on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Storm Reid as the daughter of Idris Elba's character

In early July 2019, we learned that Storm Reid of A Wrinkle in Time had been cast as the daughter of Idris Elba's character. This may shed some light on exactly who Elba is playing, or at least it might narrow the field. In February 2019, it had been reported that James Gunn originally courted Elba to replace Will Smith as the marksman/assassin Deadshot, but that it was later decided Elba would play someone else. Since then, there's been speculation about exactly who Elba would be playing, with some of the most theorized candidates including the mercenary Deathstroke, the villain Sportsmaster, and the Suicide Squad comics mainstay Bronze Tiger. 

If Reid is playing Elba's daughter, then that could eliminate Bronze Tiger from the running. One of the reasons Deathstroke and Sportsmaster were named early was because of rumors that Elba's character's daughter would be central to his motivations, and both of those characters have daughters in the source material who are important to their respective stories. Of course, even if the report is true, it doesn't necessarily mean anything. Whether or not Bronze Tiger has a daughter in the comics, after all, there's no reason Gunn couldn't create one for the movie.

Flula Borg is on board

In August 2019, as part of a series of announcements regarding The Suicide Squad casting, the news dropped Flula Borg was joining the cast. In October, set photos that surfaced showing Borg in a yellow-and-blue outfit armed with a tall spear, suggesting he'll likely be playing the minor DC villain Javelin.

The German-born actor and comedian is best known for his role as the leader of the German a cappella group Das Sound Machine in 2015's Pitch Perfect 2. He's also a well known YouTube personality, and was named one of The Hollywood Reporter's "Top 25 Digital Stars" in 2015. He has his own YouTube channel, the content of which includes serenading the Internet with a cover of LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" with help from his parents, or covering Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" in a parking lot outside a Goodwill. 

His presence in the cast reinforces something that was likely already evident from James Gunn's involvement and the presence of characters like Polka-Dot Man and the Ratcatcher — that comedy will be playing a huge role in The Suicide Squad

Where is The Suicide Squad set?

In mid-August 2019 HN Entertainment claimed it had confirmed rumors that Central America would be the setting for The Suicide Squad. The site first reported that Warner Bros. was looking for someone "distinguished and regal-looking between the ages of 40-50" to pay a character named only as "Central American President." HN Entertainment later updated the story, reporting they'd confirmed at least one scene would be set in a Panama club. 

Of course, superhero movies tend to be global affairs these days, and the shooting of a single scene set in Panama doesn't necessarily mean anything. But considering that news, the working title El Dorado, and the apparent search for an actor to play a Central American President, it seems more and more likely most of The Suicide Squad will indeed take place somewhere in Latin America.

Expect less Batman than in the first Suicide Squad

Batman is pretty important to David Ayer's Suicide Squad. Flashbacks reveal that at least two of the Squad recruits — Deadshot and Harley Quinn — were captured by Batman, hence making them available to Amanda Waller. Between his cameo appearances and the spotlight on members of his rogue's gallery, you could practically call 2016's Suicide Squad a Batman spin-off.

With all of that in mind and the news that Robert Pattinson would be playing Batman in The Batman, fans have been understandably curious about the likelihood of a Batman cameo in The Suicide Squad. According to James Gunn, however, they shouldn't hold their breath. 

Reacting to a fan on Instagram who'd been repeatedly spamming him with the message "Batman scenes in suicide squad please," Gunn responded, "You can check out Batman in #TheBatman, June 2021. #TheSuicideSquad will feature mostly, you know, The Suicide Squad."  It's clearly a tongue-in-cheek response that doesn't necessarily rule out a Batman cameo. But judging by Gunn's response, at the very least it's a good bet that even if the Dark Knight shows up in The Suicide Squad, he won't be there quite as much as in the the 2016 film. 

King Shark surfaces in The Suicide Squad

One of the characters we know will be showing up in The Suicide Squad is the massive King Shark. The beast is a man-monster of few words, who first became a regular Task Force X recruit in the first Suicide Squad comic series to follow DC Comics' New 52 reboot. A version of the character has shown up a couple of times on CW's The Flash, and he was one of Task Force X's recruits in the animated movie Batman: Assault on Arkham

In May 2019, reports surfaced that Michael Rooker would be playing King Shark, but it didn't take long for Rooker to debunk those rumors personally. We now know it won't be Rooker, but Steve Agee who will be voicing the man-shark for The Suicide Squad. Like Rooker, Agee appears in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as one of the mutinous Ravagers who turns on Yondu. Specifically, he's the Ravager wearing thick goggles killed by Yondu's arrow, moments after the arrow smashes his beer mug. 

Even before The Suicide Squad entered principal photography, Gunn wasted no time hyping the arrival of King Shark — the cast and crew's new break area, sponsored by Microsoft, was named after the beast. In mid-August, the writer/director took to Instagram to show off the "King Sharkade." The arcade includes a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ping pong machine, a pool table, and a number of other arcade games. 

James Gunn issues a warning about Squad scammers

In late August, James Gunn took to Instagram to warn fans about a scam being circulated. An email using the logo and promotional art from David Ayer's Suicide Squad offered $150 per day to "participate and co-work with Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, and John Cena," accompanied by an "Apply Now" link. Rather than The Suicide Squad, the email referred to the film as Suicide Squad 2

"This is a SCAM. It's not even the name of the movie," Gunn wrote. He went on to express confusion about the tactics being used. "I have no idea what someone has to gain from this con, but please be aware of the unscrupulous folks online." He ended by thanking the fans who notified him about the scam. 

Amazingly — in an effort to apparently prove they knew more than the guy writing and directing the movie — one fan disagreed with Gunn, arguing, "It's a repost of the Tammy Smith casting which is legit." Gunn responded that the notice the fan mentioned "does not have that title or any actors listed. This is a scam meant to get money from people." 

A Suicide Squad/Birds of Prey connection?

In late August 2019, a rumor hinted at a potential connection between The Suicide Squad and the upcoming Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). It was already reported that Birds of Prey was undergoing reshoots, with John Wick director Chad Stathelski designing new action sequences for the flick. According to We Got This Covered, one of the scenes added in the reshoots specifically addresses why Harley Quinn will find herself once again a part of Task Force X in The Suicide Squad

The site doesn't mention exactly what this scene will entail, but considering Amanda Waller tends to recruit from incarcerated convicts, it's possible the rumored scene would put Quinn behind bars once again — which itself would seem odd for a film whose five-mile-long subtitle centers on Harley's "Emancipation."

Of course, Harley doesn't necessarily have to be behind bars to show up in The Suicide Squad. Neither Rick Flagg nor Katana are prisoners in the 2016 film. We do wonder, though, why she would agree to sign up if she wasn't facing more years of incarceration. 

Nathan Fillion joins the Squad

In late August 2019 it was reported that, surprising no one who's seen a James Gunn film, Nathan Fillion was joining the cast of The Suicide Squad

Known as the lead on the crime-comedy-drama Castle as well as the cult sci-fi series Firefly, Fillion shows up in most of James Gunn's films — though sometimes he's tough to spot. He's the male lead of Gunn's feature directorial debut, the 2006 horror-comedy Slither. He's an actor playing the Christian-themed superhero the Holy Avenger in the 2010 dark comedy Super. He does the voice of the alien Kyln inmate who threatens to "go to town" on Peter Quill before Groot teaches him a lesson in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. His cameo — as Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man playing Tony Stark in a movie — was sadly cut from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

In February 2020, Fillion talked about why he accepted the offer to join the cast of The Suicide Squad, and it shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone who's followed either Fillion's career or Gunn's. "James Gunn, one of the people in my life that when he calls I just say 'Yes to whatever you're about to say,'" Fillion told ET Canada. "James Gunn is an amazing storyteller... when he wants to do something you know it's gonna be fun, you know it's gonna be satisfying."

Korg won't be Taika Waititi's only comic book movie role

In late August 2019, in the midst of what seemed like an avalanche of casting news for The Suicide Squad, reports surfaced that the hilarious actor and filmmaker Taika Waititi was going to show up in the film. It's fitting that James Gunn and Waititi will be working together, particularly since Waititi's name was bandied about by fans as a potential replacement before it was announced that Gunn had gotten back in Disney's good graces and was returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, though he didn't want the job

This actually won't be Waititi's first appearance in a DC Comics superhero movie, though he probably hopes The Suicide Squad will be remembered in a better light than his earlier role. Waititi played the supporting character Tom Kalmaku in 2011's much-maligned Green Lantern. This means once The Suicide Squad hits theaters, Waititi will have acted in an equal number of Marvel and DC Comics films. Of course, the tie will be broken a few months later, assuming Waititi once again plays the rocky-skinned Korg in Thor: Lover and Thunder

The Doctor is in

In early September 2019, the news dropped that one of the most recent actors to play the lead on Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, had been recruited for The Suicide Squad. Like so many other additions to the film's ensemble, we don't know just yet who Capaldi will be playing, though in November 2019 Gunn confirmed it would be a "big role." While Capaldi hasn't let the cat out the bag, he did drop what seems like a big hint in September.

At the Fan Expo Canada 2019 convention, Capaldi fielded a question about his hair, which was shorter than usual. The actor then started talking vaguely about his character in The Suicide Squad who, according to Capaldi, will be "completely bald." He went on to explain the hair had been cut so the crew for The Suicide Squad could "do some prosthetics." He said, "we did some head casts and stuff... When I go home it's going to go all the way."

Saying your DC character is going to be "completely bald" is a little like saying your Marvel character is going to be "completely green" — it leaves a pretty broad field. The first possibility to come to mind is that Capaldi will be replacing Jesse Eisenberg as the infamous Lex Luthor. Another well-known Superman bad guy with a hairless skull is the alien artificial intelligence Brainiac, different versions of whom have featured prominently both in SyFy's recently canceled Krypton and the CW's Supergirl. We'll have to wait and see exactly who Capaldi is shaving the dome for.

Gunn announces the full cast of The Suicide Squad

On Friday, September 13th 2019, James Gunn took to social media to announce the full cast of The Suicide Squad, and the way he did must have pleased old-school fans of the comic. He posted an image with all the actors' names, with each name written in the same font and style as the original Suicide Squad comic book series: yellow text with bullet holes riddling the letters. Fittingly, Gunn wrote "Don't get too attached" in the caption, signaling that many of their characters wouldn't survive to see the credits. 

The list of names includes some a few long-awaited confirmations, a couple surprises, and some conspicuous absences. It finally confirms the return of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Michael Rooker is included, even though he had previously said he wasn't cast in the flick. David Ayer's Suicide Squad alums Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney are all there. Sadly, it seems some actors reported as being attached — like Benicio del Toro and Dave Bautista — are nowhere to be found. It also confirms Jared Leto's Joker won't make a return... at least, not this time.

Names that had been prominently discussed throughout 2019 that this announcement confirmed: David Dastmalchian, Sean Gunn, Storm Reid, Daniela Melchior, Flula Borg, Nathan Fillion, Taika Waititi, Steve Agee, Idris Elba, Pete Davidson, and Peter Capaldi. And there are some brand new names, including Joaquín Cosio, Mayling Ng, Juan Diego Botto, Tinashe Kajese, Julio Ruiz, and Jennifer Holland.

The Disaster Artist wants in

Not one to be left out of anything without making some noise, Tommy Wiseau — writer/director of The Room and inspiration for the award-winning The Disaster Artist — has graciously "volunteered" to join the cast of The Suicide Squad. The infamous auteur took to Twitter a week after Gunn's announcement of the full cast with an altered version of the image Gunn had posted. In Wiseau's version, Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang) is removed, and Tommy Wiseau's name is inserted in its place. Eight days later, Wiseau posted another altered version of Gunn's cast list, this time with every name replaced with Wiseau's. 

It was this later image that Gunn finally responded to with the tweet "I didn't know I signed on for a Klumps sort of deal," referencing the Eddie Murphy's Nutty Professor films, in which Murphy plays almost every character in his family.

This isn't the first time Wiseau has used bizarre tactics to try to secure a comic book movie role. In February 2018, after news broke of Joaquin Phoenix's attachment to Joker, Wiseau took to Twitter to make it clear he wanted the role. Wiseau and friend Greg Sestero made a tongue-in-cheek audition tape with the help of Nerdist, that — like much of Wiseau's work — is equally hilarious and bizarre. 

Gunn dispels Zatanna rumors

In September 2019, James Gunn responded on Twitter to one of the strangest rumors we've heard about The Suicide Squad. A fan mentioned that she had heard the DC magician Zatanna would appear for a cameo in The Suicide Squad, and asked Gunn what was on his mind about who the fan called "my gorgeous girl." 

Gunn diplomatically wrote "I have nothing against Zatanna, but I have no idea where some of this stuff comes from. I never even thought of using her in [The Suicide Squad] (nor many of the other characters I keep hearing are in the film)." He ended his tweet with a little tribute to Zatanna nonetheless, writing, "!sromur yawA," which is "Away rumors!" backward. As any Zatanna fan knows — along with most DC comics readers — Zatanna casts her spells by saying what she wants to happen in reverse. For example, if she wants to teleport home, she might yell "emoh tropelet!" Which means, apparently, the toughest part of DC magical training is learning how to say stuff backwards at a moment's notice. 

We don't know if the disappointed Zatanna fan Gunn chanted "oemac a annataZ evig!" for a few hours after reading Gunn's tweet, but it couldn't hurt.

Set photos fuel the two team theory

In October 2019, the first photos surfaced from the set of The Suicide Squad including actors in costume, helping to fuel speculation and rumors about who is playing who. 

As far as those Squad members reprising their roles from 2016's Suicide Squad, the only actor in attendance is Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. Joining him in the photos are Nathan Fillion, Flula Borg, Pete Davidson, Mayling Ng, and Sean Gunn. While rumors swirl about who the various actors are playing, the only safe bets based solely on the photos are for the characters played by Borg and Ng. Mayling Ng's costume, make-up, and prosthetics make her look like the DC space tyrant Mongal. Borg's yellow-and-blue costume and the spear he's carrying seem reflective of the old-school Squadder Javelin

The photos helped give birth to a popular fan theory about the upcoming film. Because of not only how many actors appear in the photos, but how many are absent, some fans are harboring a "two-team theory." This idea suggests that the film will feature two different versions of the Suicide Squad, one of which gets wiped out early in the film. While James Gunn has denied the theory, a January 2020 interview with John Cena added fuel regardless. Talking about the script, Cena told Collider "I was blown away. The first 10 pages are like a move in itself."

Gunn names the '80s Suicide Squad comics as his main inspiration

While responding to a fan on Instagram in September 2019, James Gunn revealed that while his upcoming film would take inspiration from all the various eras of the team, it was John Ostrander and Kim Yale's reinvention of the group as "the Dirty Dozen with disposable, second-rate supervillains" that most strongly informs The Suicide Squad.

To anyone who's been paying close attention, this shouldn't come as a surprise. In his announcement of the official cast list, Gunn went out of his way to use the same kind of font and style from the original Suicide Squad comic book covers — letters riddled with bullet holes — in the graphic. He also seems to be hinting — with the "Don't get too attached" tagline — that his film will have a higher body count than its predecessor, and late '80s/early '90s Suicide Squad reflects that as well. 

This could explain early reports that Margot Robbie would not be asked back as Harley Quinn (the reports were later corrected), since Harley wasn't even a part of DC Comics canon during the life of the original Suicide Squad comic, and wouldn't be recruited until the title's 2011 reboot. It's also tempting — considering the growing number of characters that Idris Elba is reported to be playing — to see Gunn's statement as evidence that Elba will be playing Bronze Tiger: a character all but absent in 21st century Suicide Squad comics, but who was an original series mainstay.

Don't expect Killer Croc

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje — who plays the cannibal powerhouse Killer Croc in 2016's Suicide Squad — hasn't been mentioned much in speculation regarding James Gunn's reinvention of the franchise, and it seems like there's a good reason for that. In an October 2019 interview with Yahoo Movies UK, while promoting his directorial debut Farming,  Akinnuoye-Agbaje implied that he has no interest in playing Killer Croc again. "I don't think I need to [do it again], to be honest," the actor said. "I did it, I enjoyed it, it bought me a Bentley and I will keep moving on."

So, for the forseeable future it looks like we'll have to assume Killer Croc has either escaped Belle Reve, died on a subsequent mission, or is too busy enjoying the new TV channels Amanda Waller gives him access to at the end of Suicide Squad to bother with any more missions. It isn't clear if Akinnuoye-Agbaje was asked back, though with the reported inclusion of King Shark, you'd assume someone on The Suicide Squad's creative team pointed out that two amphibious animal-themed cannibals might seem a little redundant. 

Fillion's role may have been revealed and it's bizarre

In October 2019, The Weekly Planet Podcast (via Cinemablend) reported that, for his longtime collaborator Nathan Fillion, James Gunn chose the role of Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. No, we didn't make the name up. The character has the ability — as his name implies — to detach his arms and legs from his body and use them as weapons. Apparently he chooses to not incorporate "Legs" into his codename because, you know... that would just sound weird

Arm-Fall-Off-Boy does not enjoy a particularly illustrious history in DC Comics. In his most celebrated moment during 1989's Secret Origins #46 — his first appearance — he's the first candidate rejected by the Legion of Super-Heroes in their tryouts for new members. 

It's worth noting not only that this report has not been confirmed, but the photos that surfaced of Nathan Fillion in costume feature an outfit that looks nothing like Arm-Fall-Off-Boy's get-up. Of course, that doesn't prove anything. It wouldn't be the first costume revamp a character got from page to screen, not to mention that it's conceivable Fillion would only agreed to the role if they redesigned the outfit. But who wouldn't want to be in a major motion picture in bright pink tights and studded cream-colored sleeves?

Elba may be Vigilante

The rumors never seem to stop about who Idris Elba will be playing in The Suicide Squad. In late September 2019 The Weekly Planet podcast (via Full Circle) claimed sources gave them the real scoop. According to the podcast, Elba will be playing the Vigilante. There have been a number of different DC Comics characters using the name Vigilante, though they all tend to be violent anti-heroes in a similar vein as The Punisher

If true, Elba won't be the first actor to play a live action version of Vigilante. Johann Urb plays Vincent Sobel a.k.a. Vigilante in the fifth season of Arrow

Taken hand-in-hand with reports that John Cena will be playing Peacemaker, it's interesting that a good percentage of Gunn's version of Task Force X potentially won't be supervillains so much as anti-heroes. Of course, keep in mind any rumors about who Elba will be playing should be taken with a grain of salt. Vigilante is the fifth character to enter the rumor mill as far as Elba is concerned — preceded by Sportsmaster, Deathstroke, Bronze Tiger, and the reports that he would be replacing Will Smith as Deadshot. At this point we wouldn't be surprised if Kite-Man, Condiment King, and Mister Mxyzptlk enter the running before the movie finally comes out.

Set photos reveal Elba and Cena in prison garb

In October 2019, Looper obtained exclusive photos of Idris Elba and John Cena on the set of The Suicide Squad

The photos neither confirm nor debunk any of the rumors about what characters they might be playing, though it does show them both in orange prison garb. On the right pant leg of each is printed "B.R.C.C. INMATE," and since this is a movie about Task Force X, the B and R in "B.R.C.C." most likely stand for Belle Reve, the prison where Amanda Waller keeps all of her potential recruits for the Suicide Squad. 

If nothing else, the photos suggest the actors will be playing members of the Squad and not antagonists, unless of course they play members of the Squad who — like Enchantress from the 2016 film — turn on their colleagues. Considering most Task Force X recruits are murderers, thieves, and in some case even cannibals, the notion that some could also prove guilty of treachery is not only possible but practically inevitable. 

Gunn talks about the Joker's absence

Answering a question on Instagram about how he could "justify a Suicide Squad movie without Joker in it," James Gunn told fans in October 2019 why he didn't find a Joker-less The Suicide Squad strange, and it's an answer that should seem obvious to anyone familiar with the comics.

Gunn wrote, "No one but me and a few others know all the characters in the movie but if the Joker isn't in the film, I don't think it would be strange as he isn't a part of the Suicide Squad in the comics."

He's right. Of all the various DC Comics bad guys to pop up in Suicide Squad comics over the years as part of the titular group, Joker isn't one of them. And as popular as a villain as he may be, he doesn't belong anywhere near Task Force X — at least not as a member. Why would someone as pragmatic and cunning as Amanda Waller allow the Joker in her squad? He's the very embodiment of the term "unstable element" and, unlike Harley Quinn, doesn't even have any particularly impressive hand-to-hand fighting skills. He's just nuts. 

The Suicide Squad is heavy on practical effects

In November 2019, James Gunn made an intriguing claim while speaking to fans on Instagram. After sharing a behind the scenes clip from Guardians of the Galaxy, a fan wrote that it was "Good to see filmmakers are still using practical effects." In response, Gunn wrote "There are more practical sets and effects in #TheSuicideSquad than all my other films combined!!!"

It's an impressive claim, when you consider Gunn's films include SuperSlither, and two volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course, it's clear at least some CGI will be involved. The set photos that surfaced of some of the cast in full costume include Sean Gunn in a motion capture get-up, suggesting his character will be largely digital. The reported inclusion of King Shark seems likely to be handled with CGI. And if Nathan Fillion is playing Arm-Fall-Off-Boy? Well, we're certainly hoping they use CGI for that, otherwise he's going to need a lot of downtime before his next role.

David Ayer calls The Suicide Squad a reinvention

David Ayer directed 2016's Suicide Squad and was originally slated to direct the follow-up, so you might be forgiven if you assume he was feeling a little bitter. After all, regardless of any faults you want to point out in his film — including that there wasn't enough Joker, a common critique Ayer admitted is valid — it made a boatload of money

But judging by some December 2019 tweets from Ayer, he's more excited about The Suicide Squad than most. Responding to a mean-spirited tweet expressing gratitude that Ayer wouldn't be directing "the sequel," Ayer tweeted, "It's not a sequel it's a reinvention and @JamesGunn is going to absolutely knock it out of the park. I'm cheering every step [of the] way." Another fan asked if this makes Ayer's film a "standalone" that "has nothing to do with continuity," and Ayer confirmed this was true, saying that Gunn is "reinventing the universe."

Ayer's comments seem to confirm the idea that The Suicide Squad is, indeed, a reboot; albeit a reboot that incorporates very specific elements (or at least actors) from the original.

Captain Boomerang may be on the run

There weren't a ton of Suicide Squad references in 2020's Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), though there was one widely-reported Easter egg involving one of Harley's old teammates. During Harley's assault on the Gotham Police Department, she takes a quick break from beating up cops to look at a wanted poster and say, "Hey, I know that guy!" The guy in question is Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang.

This could mean nothing but the fact that the filmmakers wanted to drop a nice little Easter egg in Birds of Prey. But it could also be a hint about The Suicide Squad. One thing that stands out is the fact that Boomerang is on a wanted poster in Gotham City. The Aussie's usual stomping ground is Central City in the comics and the movies, which is why in 2016's Suicide Squad it's the Flash who captures the thief. 

It could simply mean that Boomerang decided to change zip codes for a bit. But it could also mean that during the events of Birds of Prey, Boomerang is already working for Task Force X. Remember — Amanda Waller isn't someone who likes to do a lot of sharing. If she were, hypothetically, to send the Suicide Squad on a mission to Gotham City, there's no reason to assume she would tell the local cops about it. Boomerang could've earned a wanted status working on the side of the angels. 

A set video gives us a glimpse of Elba's costume

In early February 2020, fan account DC Movie News tweeted a video on location in Panama City where The Suicide Squad was being filmed, including brief shots of Idris Elba in costume. 

Unfortunately, it's difficult to make out anything specific in the video. It's being recorded from a couple of floors above the action and Elba is wearing a cape which seems possibly designed to hide the costume. You can make out large shoulder pads under the cape and he's wearing a hat, though it isn't clear if the hat is actually a part of the outfit. In short, as to the question of the half-dozen DC characters Elba's been rumored to be playing, the video doesn't give any answers. 

Most of the shots include rows of military vehicles in the street, and one shot from the video captures a scene being filmed in which some of the actors are arrested and are about to be loaded into the back of one of the vehicles. It doesn't tell us a lot, though it does lend some weight to early reports that the movie's villain would be a military leader "who lives for war."

Harley's sporting a new look, and maybe someone else's toy?

In February 2020 a set photo and video surfaced revealing a new look for Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. In the image, Robbie can be seen wearing a red dress, with her hair colored red, black, and white. It's an interesting choice, especially since that color scheme hearkens back to the character's cartoon roots. During her early appearances in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley was almost always wearing her black-red-and-white jester outfitEven in the comics, she wasn't regularly shown outside of her jester get-up until the 2011 Suicide Squad series.

So far, most of the focus on these images has revolved around Harley's new look. But the set video in particular hints towards something potentially spoilery. In the video, Harley leaves a building and hails a cab while holding what looks like a spear. The video ends as she's trying to fit the spear in the cab. 

It seems possible that the spear belongs to another Squad member. In October 2019, set photos were revealed showing many of the Squad's members, including Flula Borg in a blue-and-yellow outfit. Borg is carrying something similar to the weapon Harley has in the set video, leading many to speculate Borg will be playing the DC Comics villain Javelin. Regardless of who he's playing, if the weapon Harley's carrying belongs to Borg's character, why does she have it? Has Borg's character bitten the dust by that point? Is Harley the one who sent him to the Great Beyond?

Harley may be taking an explosive trip to the past

In April 2020 James Gunn gave an answer to a fan on Twitter that excited old-school fans of Harley Quinn. Asked how he would describe his own take on Harley, Gunn answered "Exploding Paul Dini-esque." Paul Dini is the Batman: The Animated Series writer who initially conceived of Harley, as well as writing her first canonical DC Comics appearance in 1999's Batman: Harley Quinn #1. 

With this comment by Gunn and the images sporting a new look for Harley that shares a color scheme with her classic jester costume, it seems clear Gunn is reaching back to Harley's cartoon beginnings for inspiration. It will be interesting to see how this manifests on the big screen. On one hand, it suggests we'll see a lighter side of Harley, and yet the very name The Suicide Squad is pretty dark. On the other hand, it can raise questions about Harley's hard-won independence. One of the defining qualities of Harley in Batman: The Animated Series is her obsession with the Joker. It's difficult to hear about a "Dini-esque" Harley Quinn without wondering if the character will be taking a huge leap backward in terms of her struggles to free herself from Joker's influence. 

Robbie and Elba show up in a leaked set video

In February 2020, a set video leaked showing Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn and Idris Elba's character in action, along with two other actors who aren't quite as easy to identify. 

The short clip posted by Twitter user Calito Arauz (via DC Movie News) shows a crowd of people running away from something. Elba's character and Harley run toward whatever danger the civilians are fleeing, and they're followed by two other cast members. Judging by their costumes, it seems likely that the two actors taking up the rear are Daniela Melchor as Ratcatcher and David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man.

This video is one of the clearest shots we've gotten of Elba's character, whose identity has yet to be revealed. It still isn't clear who he's playing, but we do see him carrying what appears to be a large handgun. Of the many characters Elba has been rumored to be portraying, the presence of the handgun could point to Vigilante. Characters like Sportsmaster and Bronze Tiger aren't partial to handguns, while Vigilante and Deathstroke hardly go anywhere without one. At the same time Deathstroke usually carries a lot more arms than just a single handgun, leaving us with Vigilante. Of course, that's assuming two things: first, that Gunn's going with a more comic-book-accurate version of Elba's character (whoever it is), and second, that any of the various rumors about who Elba might be playing have been correct. 

Hints about The Suicide Squad's rating

We don't know yet what The Suicide Squad will be rated. But James Gunn dropped hints in March and April 2020, pointing toward the notion that it could join films like DeadpoolLogan, and Birds of Prey in the growing club of R-rated superhero films. 

While not particularly revealing all on its own, in March Gunn told fans not to expect a movie that felt like other DCEU films. In April, fans on social media started asking Gunn more direct questions about The Suicide Squad's rating. Asked in April on Twitter if he knew what the upcoming film would be rated, Gunn responded, "Oh yes I know but I can't yet say." Later that month he responded similarly to a fan on Instagram (via ScreenRant) asking if the film would be rated R. Gunn answered with "Wait and see."

So what will The Suicide Squad be rated? We don't know, but considering Gunn's words and the potential for a high body count in a film named The Suicide Squad, it seems like if there were ever a superhero film with potential for an R rating, this would be it. Of course, you could say the same for 2016's Suicide Squad and 2017's Venom, yet both were PG-13. Not to mention the fact that Birds of Prey's somewhat disappointing performance at the box office could make Warner Bros. push Gunn toward a PG-13 rating regardless of his wishes. 

Fliming wraps and James Gunn works from home

In late February 2020, filming wrapped on The Suicide Squad. James Gunn posted the news to his Instagram page, along with a picture of the assembled cast and crew. 

While directing a major motion picture is sure to take its toll on anyone, Gunn seemed to have a particularly hard go of it with The Suicide Squad. Along with his announcement that filming had wrapped, Gunn captioned the cast/crew photo with "My father died two weeks before we started filming and my dog died two weeks before the end. It was a hard, hard time in my life and yet the most fulfilling time I've ever had making a movie." He goes on to praise the "professionalism, talent, compassion and kindness" of the film's cast and crew. 

The fact that the film wrapped in February is likely one of the major reasons it escaped the many COVID-19 related film delays. However, The Suicide Squad's post-production has been at least partly impacted by the pandemic. James Gunn, like many of us, is working from home. Asked by a fan on Twitter in April 2020 how he was passing the time in self-quarantine, Gunn answered that one of the many things he was doing was "Working on The Suicide Squad edit (from home)." 

A set photo fuels speculation about Bane

In February 2020, set photos emerged leading fans to speculate that the villain Bane (famously played by Tom Hardy in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises) could be making an appearance in The Suicide Squad. Plenty of fans showed early interest in Dave Bautista playing the villain known for breaking Batman's back, but in 2019 it was reported Bautista wouldn't be able to appear in the film because of a scheduling conflict. 

The photo in question shows a flag hanging from a balcony — a flag that looks similar to the flag of Santa Prisca. While his origin in The Dark Knight Rises is different, in the comics Bane is born in Santa Prisca and spends his childhood and young adulthood in the cruel prison of Peña Duro. 

Assuming the flag is meant to be for the island nation of Santa Prisca, its presence in a set photo for The Suicide Squad could just be an Easter egg. After all, Gunn's penchant for inserting Easter eggs in the Guardians of the Galaxy films is pretty well-known. Then again, with so many specifics about The Suicide Squad still unknown — particularly when it comes to its antagonists — there isn't much that can be dismissed out of hand.

The Squad member with the most screen time is a secret

In April 2020, James Gunn had a pretty interesting answer to a fan's question on Twitter. The fan asked Gunn which actor in The Suicide Squad would have the most screen time. Gunn responded, "I would consider answering this question a pretty sizable spoiler."

Considering Gunn's response and the mystery still surrounding his role, the obvious answer to the fan's question might be Idris Elba. While there are other characters whose roles haven't been fully revealed — e.g. John Cena is widely believed to be playing Peacemaker, but that's never been confirmed — no The Suicide Squad actor's part has inspired as much speculation as Elba's. 

On the other hand, how would revealing that Elba has the most screen time be a clue to who he's playing? The truth is that so much of The Suicide Squad has been kept under wraps that there's no way yet to fully know why Gunn would refuse to answer the question. Is it possible there's an actor we don't know about? Or is Gunn going to throw us a curve ball and make one of the seriously obscure characters the lead? Is Polka-Dot Man going to be narrating The Suicide Squad? Or Arm-Fall-Off-Boy?