Warner Bros. has officially dropped the trailer for their next DC Comics film, The Suicide Squad (2021). Written and directed by James Gunn and co-written by the original Suicide Squad comicbook writer John Ostrander, The Suicide Squad looks exactly as I expected it to from the man who directed Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and 2010’s Super starring Rainn Wilson. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
John Ostrander Cameo and Writing Credit
For those not tapped into DC Comics’ history, John Ostrander is the original writer of the popular Suicide Squad books from the ’80s. Ostrander, along with his late wife Kim Yale, are the ones who made forgettable D-list supervillains, such as Deadshot and Captain Boomerang, into the household names they are today. He’s credited as a co-writer on IMDB, but he also has a cameo in this trailer as one of the scientists injecting Michael Rooker’s Savant with the infamous nano-bomb detonator. Ostrander isn’t listed as a co-writer in the trailer, so it’s unclear how much input he had. But seeing as how James Gunn has said his film is inspired by Ostrander’s Trial by Fire story arc, Suicide Squad seems to be on the right path.
Leave No One Behind
Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag was certifiably forgettable in 2016’s Suicide Squad effort. Thankfully, his first line in this trailer gives audiences some hope for a more interesting and accurate portrayal of the colonel. In the comicbooks, Flag is the moral compass of the Squad. He never wants to leave his Squadmates behind, even if he views them as petty criminals. Watching him gather the team to save Harley Quinn is about as Rick Flag as you can get.
Harley Quinn’s Costume
It’s not a controversial opinion to say that Margot Robbie absolutely kills it as Harley Quinn. She embodies the character in the same way Hugh Jackman effortlessly embodies Wolverine. But the cherry on top is the much improved Harley Quinn costume. Her outfit in Suicide Squad was incredibly tacky, and while I enjoyed her look in Birds of Prey (2020), it wasn’t Harley Quinn. Here, she sports two outfits that are more in-line with her original character design. I’m especially a fan of her more tactical costume, which we get a better look at in the previous Suicide Squad first look trailer from last August. Harley’s costume has a Tank Girl vibe, which seems like a fitting progression of the character post-Joker.
King Shark is a Shark
King Shark, voiced by Sylvester Stallone, has been a fan favorite for awhile, but the character’s popularity has skyrocketed with his hilarious role in the Harley Quinn (2019) animated series. In this trailer, he seems less talkative and more…shark-like? In any case, expect an army of King Shark fans after this movie premieres.
Peace at Any Cost
I’ve said it before in my Suicide Squad retrospective, but Peacemaker is a character that is simply ripe for James Gunn’s brand of humor. He’s someone who cares about peace at any cost, no matter how many people have to die. John Cena’s portrayal of Peacemaker looks suitably off-kilter, and I expect him to be an X-factor in the movie. I also love the line from Idris Elba’s Bloodsport calling Peacemaker’s goofy helmet a “toilet seat.” And honestly, it kind of does look like one.
One thing I enjoy about Ostrander’s Suicide Squad run is his attention to the Belle Reve support team. In this trailer, we get glimpses of what I presume is Flo Crawley, the Squad’s young computer whizz. There’s also John Economos, the warden of Belle Reve, who looks characteristically schlubby yet lovable. The inclusion of the Belle Reve staff is a welcome surprise for sure.
Put Your Thinking Caps On
With Ostrander’s involvement in the film, we’re seeing more of the minor supervillains that appeared in his run. One character I’m particularly excited to see is Peter Capaldi’s Thinker, who may have a larger role than I initially thought. But it makes sense, given that his powerset makes him more formidable than the likes of Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang or Daniela Melchior’s Ratcatcher 2. His “Thinking Cap” device also plays a significant role in the comicbooks, though I’m not sure if the film will go that route. Could he possibly be the villain of the next Suicide Squad film? I doubt it, but it’s fun to “think” about (sorry).
Starro the Conqueror
Starro makes his first live action appearance, and it is just as crazy as I imagined it to be. I’m of the mindset that the Squad is better suited for smaller espionage tales where losing doesn’t mean the end of the world. Starro, which is a Justice League villain, doesn’t necessarily fit that. However, with Ostrander’s input, it seems likely that the Squad is tasked with mitigating the further spread of Starro rather than preventing the end of the world. Starro is a simultaneously campy and creepy adversary, and I’m excited to see what Gunn has up his sleeve for The Conqueror.
The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6, 2021. Be sure to check back here and geek out about King Shark, exploding heads, and alien starfish!