Woke up this morning and found my Twitter feed abuzz with different iterations of the same headline, “David Ayer releases first official pic of his Suicide Squad”. In this social media driven age it seems compulsory for filmmakers to reveal first looks to their followers before some wannabe paparazzi with a phone camera snaps the first “leak” of your characters on-set.
They look perfectly fine, even if the first official pic is a pretty flat dull piece. Seems to target the extreme beard-and-tattoo crowd who I presume aren’t usually too hip for movies beloved by nerds. After this weekends lower than expected opening for “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” the genre might do well to rope in other subcultures to keep the box-office numbers healthy. [To be honest I believe the Mayweather Vs Pacquiao boxing match had a part to play here]
Suicide Squad or Task Force X is a team of mercenaries consisting of career criminals. Forced into servitude by Amanda Waller (played by “How to Get Away with Murder” actress Viola Davis) or as some have already started referring to the character “DC’s female Nick Fury”. From what little I know the line-up has changed a number of times. Ayer’s version has Will Smith as Deadshot but the real focus might be Harley Quinn played by current Hollywood “It” girl Margot Robbie. In the comics Quinn is a psychiatrist who falls for The Joker (yes, THE Joker aka Batman’s arch nemesis played by Jared Leto here). Playing up her story arc would be a welcome change to the usual testosterone driven protagonist story lines we’re used to.
Focusing on the fairer sex might also be the way Warner Bros is trying to differentiate itself from rival Marvel. Only after eleven or so films have Marvel greenlit a project with a female lead whereas WB/DC already announced a Wonder Woman movie (starring Fast and Furious star Gal Gadot as the titular character). With females making up larger and larger number of theater goers in the U.S. this might not only keep WB/DC movies in contention but also show them as forward thinking in regards to gender equality.
Warner Bros has also been rumoured to take a more filmmaker driven approach and it shows here with the directors aesthetic preferences shaping up these characters onscreen appearances. None of these characters are slavish adaptations of their comic book counterparts yet bear enough of a resemblance to pacify fans. Depending on if you’re a fan or not, the Christopher Nolan induced “dark, gritty, grounded in reality” mantra might be carried over to the DC cinematic universe. Personally it fits a world where these characters exist but I hope the visual palette is flexible enough to bend when it comes to some characters (e.g. Shazam aka Captain Marvel).
Warner Brothers, parent company of DC Comics, has scheduled director David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” for a 5th of August 2016 release in the United States of America. Singapore release date for “Suicide Squad” starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto has not been announced as yet.