James Gunn has a new gang of misfits to work with.
The filmmaker behind Marvel‘s two Guardians of the Galaxy films was fired by Disney over past inappropriate tweets in which he joked about pedophilia and rape. Despite fans and cast members speaking out against Disney’s decision, the studio stood firm, which left him free to pursue other work and for other studios to pursue him. Warner Bros. has swooped in.
The Wrap broke the report about Gunn moving to DC and Suicide Squad 2. Deadline has reiterated that Gunn is indeed on board to write the screenplay for the sequel, “with an eye to direct”, which all but confirms that director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, The Accountant) is no longer attached to helm.
As to the reason why O’Connor is no longer steering SS2, it’s possible that what he was crafting was a little too similar to another DC film in the works: Birds of Prey, set to star Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary. According to Variety reporter Justin Kroll, O’Connor grew “frustrated” with WB over SS2, particularly after the studio decided to green light Birds of Prey first.
On the Gavin O'Connor front in relation to SS2, hearing the story he had for the sequel ended up almost being identical to the BIRDS OF PREY story and when that film was given the go ahead to go before SQUAD 2, O'Connor grew frustrated and fell off project to do HAS BEEN instead
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) October 9, 2018
O’Connor is still sticking with WB, albeit on a very different project. As Kroll tweeted, O’Connor is moving onto The Has-Been, a film that reunites him with The Accountant star Ben Affleck. The film tells of a former basketball all-star who has lost his wife and family in his battle struggle with addiction.
There are no official details as yet on what SS2 will entail, although Deadline states that Gunn will be “bringing a completely new take on the property”. What that ultimately means is anyone’s guess at this point. A much lighter, Guardians-esque approach? A reboot?
In any case, whatever Gunn – and WB, ultimately – decides to do with the sequel, he can count on having Dave Bautista on board. Bautista has been quite outspoken in support of Gunn since news first broke of his firing and calling out Disney for their decision, saying it was “pretty nauseating to work for someone who’d empower a smear campaign by fascists #cybernazis.” So, now that Gunn may have a big new job, watcha think Bautista?
Where do I sign up! James Gunn Boards ‘Suicide Squad 2’ To Write And Possibly Direct – Deadline https://t.co/OwdDbAm1Ks
— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) October 9, 2018