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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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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."

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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 have circulated of Manganiello as Slade Wilson in The Batman when Ben Affleck was still attached to direct and possibly a solo Deathstroke film.

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Flagg's back?

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. But now an unconfirmed report says Kinnaman will indeed appear as Flagg in The Suicide Squad.

In April 2019 Discussing Film said — contrary to THR's March story — Kinnaman would be starring in James Gunn's sequel as Rick Flagg. The site does not name any sources or give any indication at all how they received this information. They write only that they "can confirm" that Kinnaman will appear in the upcoming sequel/reboot. 

Speaking to Metro in March about whether or not he'd appear, Kinnaman said he couldn't "confirm or deny it just yet." However, the actor did express interest in the sequel, saying, "It's all sort of in the works and we'll see."  

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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. 

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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 is something of a surprise as the rumblings until now have 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 come 2021.

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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 there isn't enough information to pin it down for sure just yet. If the rumor is true, then some of the first possible candidates to come to mind are the Female Furies — powerful warrior women from Darkseid's Apokolips trained to demolish any challenger. In the comics, the group happens to be one of Suicide Squad's earliest enemies; they force their way into Belle Reve — the prison where Task Force X is kept when they're not on missions — to free a prisoner on Darkseid's orders as early as 1987's Suicide Squad #3.

It's also possible looking specifically for a female DC Comics character will bear little fruit as we already know Gunn will be gender-swapping one Squad member. There's no reason he couldn't do it with a second. In fact, the Revenge of the Fans article describes the rumored character as "Queens tough." Could it be that rather than King Shark, The Suicide Squad will introduce us to Queen Shark?

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The Wall

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. 

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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. 

There's no word on who, if anyone, Cena will be playing. But considering his impressive physique and the usual body types found in superhero stories, there are probably plenty of natural fits for Cena in DC's mythology. If Cena and Bautista end up both starring in The Suicide Squad, maybe we could get a fake fight with both of them in tight clothing and with theme music playing… that actually sounds like most superhero movies anyway, so yeah, there's actually a pretty decent chance that will happen. 

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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.

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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.

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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. If both this report and the one naming Dave Bautista as the Peacemaker were to be believed, then it would make Rooker the second Guardians of the Galaxy alum to join the cast. Rooker played Peter Quill's (Chriss Pratt) adoptive father Yondu in both Guardians films. He also worked with writer/director James 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……."

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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.

If the report is correct and del Toro is ultimately cast, then it would definitely be a departure from his MCU role. A "warrior who lives for war" sounds nothing like the Collector, who spends most of his time onscreen browsing his collection and giving history lessons.