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The Real Reason King Shark Isn't A Hammerhead Shark In The Suicide Squad

After years of making bizarre Troma films, James Gunn broke out into the mainstream in a big way with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, a lovely little film about a group of criminals who join forces to stop a larger threat while a monstrous-looking creature who can only say a few words steals the show. Now he's switching comic book entities to direct The Suicide Squad for DC, and judging from the trailer that's just been released, it'll be a movie about a group of criminals who join forces to stop a larger threat while a monstrous-looking creature who can only say a few words steals the show.

It's definitely looking like King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) is going to be the Groot (Vin Diesel) of the upcoming DC film, and from the limited time he's had in the trailers so far, we're incredibly excited to see a shark with a dad bod take a bite out of crime. Overall, the character's enjoying a ton of exposure at the moment considering he's a prominent side-character in the Harley Quinn show on HBO Max and will become a playable role in the upcoming Suicide Squad video game. In all these versions, the villain takes after a great white shark, but that hasn't always been the case.

Over the years, the Shark Man known as Nanaue has gone back and forth between this design and one based on a hammerhead shark. Now, director James Gunn has come forward about why he opted for the more straightforward shark aesthetic. 

Gunn reveals a hammerhead design was just too awkward to film

The Suicide Squad isn't even out yet, but superhero fans already adore King Shark. While it's an inevitability plenty of Task Force X members are going to die in the upcoming film, plenty of people have made their opinions known that nothing better happen to the internet's newest obsession this side of Baby Yoda. With anticipation on the rise, James Gunn recently made a Twitter thread to answer some questions people had about the new team-up film. 

One user was curious about why Gunn and his team decided to use the great white design as opposed to the hammerhead one. The director admitted, "I did tests with the hammerhead design, which I love & originally thought I'd use. But having eyes on the sides far apart made it incredibly awkward shooting interactions with other people. You couldn't really see him looking at the other person & the shots tended to be too wide." The placement of the eyes was a worthwhile consideration, especially since he wouldn't be able to look straight ahead to see what's directly in front of him. Plus, if you have a close-up two-shot of King Shark and another character, you now have to widen your scope so that he's not cut off. 

Gunn may have needed to compromise on that choice, but he went on to reveal that there was one aspect of the character that remained consistent throughout: "I was insistent on the dad-bod from the beginning as I didn't think King Shark would have such mammalian body structure." We didn't necessarily have "being emotionally invested in an anthropomorphic shark wearing golf shorts" on our 2021 bingo card, but we're glad we'll get to see him plow through enemies once The Suicide Squad drops in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.