By now, you should have heard the rumor that Warner Brothers was looking towards James Gunn to write and possibly direct Suicide Squad 2. It didn’t take long after the story broke for one of his most loyal employees and most vocal supporters to…well…ask for a job.
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
All things considered, the sequel could quite possibly be looking for fresh meat. Granted, the original had less of a body count than the premise indicated it would have, but there are spots on the squad that Dave Bautista could fill.
The question is, which character should Bautista play if the rumor is true, if Gunn will direct the film, and if Gunn is willing to cast the actor in the sequel? Well, we have some candidates.
The following characters were all members of the Suicide Squad in the comics and all fit Bautista’s physical description. Just throwing these out there for Warners to have a look. Note: comic books being comic books, most of these characters have had many reboots and revamps since they were created. As such, I will try to give the most notable version of the character here.
Real Name: Unknown
First Appearance: Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993)
Created by: Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Dennis O’Neil
Back Story: Born in a South American prison, Bane learned whatever he could while in custody. From his fellow inmates, he learned how to fight. From a Jesuit priest, he honed his intelligence to genius levels. When he was forced into a prison experiment dealing with the experimental enhancement drug Venom, his increased physical prowess allowed him to escape prison and become a formidable for for Batman, even going so far as to break his back.
Why him?: We have already seen Bane in films already, in Batman & Robin (the less of which is said, the better) and in The Dark Knight Rises played by Tom Hardy. While Hardy’s performance was good, the 5’9″ Hardy could not capture Bane’s towering presence from the comics. However, the 6’3″ Bautista would fit into that image quite nicely.
While the “Venom” angle would likely once again come up missing (it was written out for Hardy’s take on the character, and having a professional wrestler play a super-steroid user might be bad P.R.), the character really doesn’t need it. It could be a stretch for Bautista as an actor, and since some incarnations of the character used wrestling attacks in its fighting, knowledge from his old job might come in handy.
Real Name: Nanaue
First Appearance: Superboy vol. 4, #0 (Oct. 1994)
Created By: Karl Kesel
Back Story: King Shark is the son of the Shark God, acting as his agent on Earth. His main goal would be bringing about an ancient prophecy that would unleash a supernatural power onto Earth. In his spare time, he would battle Superboy and work as muscle for Lex Luthor, Black Manta and the Suicide Squad.
Why him?: The character was originally supposed to appear in the first Suicide Squad film, but was replaced by Killer Croc for reasons both budgetary (King Shark was to be completely CGI) and esthetic (director David Ayer thought having an actor in make up would build more chemistry in his cast than having a character that would be added later). The character would make his CGI debut in The Flash TV series.
Bautista has the size and ferocity to pull off the role. I don’t know if he has much experience in working in motion capture, but if they figure out a way to create the character using conventional effects, he has experience acting under heavy makeup.
Real Name(s): Mark Desmond and Roland Desmond
First Appearance: Detective Comics #345 (November 1965)
Created By; Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino
Back Story: Mark Desmond was a brilliant chemist who designed a formula with the goal of increasing the strength and durability of human subjects. It worked, but at a cost. Testing the formula on himself, it turned him into a hulking monster but at the expense of his intellect. Mark’s brother, Roland, manipulated his now-dimwitted brother into entering a life of crime, crossing paths with Batman.
After Mark was killed in a Suicide Squad mission, Roland tried the formula on himself with similar results. However, Roland crossed paths with a demon named Neron, and sold his soul for genius-level intelligence. Roland used his brains and power to become a crime lord in the city of Blüdhaven, often crossing swords with Nightwing.
Why Him?: The original Blockbuster is basically a dumber version of Drax, and should be well within Bautista’s wheelhouse to play. The mob boss Blockbuster would be more of a stretch, but would fill a similar role that Bane could play. He might be an alternative in case Warners doesn’t want to revisit Bane again.
Real Name: Rudy Jones
First Appearance: Firestorm vol. 2 #58
Created By: John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski
Back Story: Remember what I said about some of these characters having more than one incarnation? There have been at least five characters in DC Comics who called themselves Parasite. This is the second version of the character and the first that worked with the Suicide Squad.
Rudy Jones was a janitor at S.T.A.R. Labs who mistakenly thought the facility was hiding something valuable in their containers of toxic waste. He was wrong, as he soon found out after opening one of the containers. The strange, radioactive substance turned Jones into a parasite that needed to feed on the life energies of other living beings to survive.
Why Him?: Depending on how the character is portrayed, the character could be a tragic figure or a unabashed menace, two meaty challenges so Bautista could show how good of an actor he really is. And, once again, the character could be pulled off with makeup and body paint, which Bautista is an old pro at.
Real Name: William Vickers
First Appearance: Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1 (1984)
Created By: Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo
Back Story: William Vickers was a patriotic American who volunteered when the government backed America Security Agency came looking for subjects for its sanctioned superhero team, Force of July. Given a suit that allowed him to fly, enhanced his strength, and allowed him to fire energy blasts at his enemies, he followed his government’s orders without question…until he realized that they might not have his–or his country’s–best interests at heart.
Why Him?: If Gunn wants to throw some shade at the right-wing demagogues that cost him his job at Disney, this would be the perfect character to do it with. Created at the height of the jingoistic Reagan Era, he could be a commentary on the mistake of following your leaders blindly and show that fixing that mistake is possible.
Real Name: Crusher Crock/Victor Gover
First Appearance: All-American Comics # 85 (May 1947)
Created By: John Broome and Irwin Hansen
Back Story: Once again, we have more than one version of the character, but each version pretty much had the same back story. Both men were disgruntled and disgraced ex-professional athletes who turned to a life of crime after being kicked out of their respective sports. They used sporting motives in all their robberies and fought against Green Lantern and Manhunter.
Why Him?: I am one who believes that wrestlers are athletes. And this character could be an excellent way to have Bautista display his athletic prowess on the big screen. It’s also a character that doesn’t require him to wear makeup, which would probably be a relief to him.
Real Name: Mark Scheffer
First Appearance: Doom Patrol vol. 2 #7 (April 1988)
Created By: Erik Larsen
Back Story: Shrapnel is a being composed of hundreds of organic metal plates. He can control the plate and expel them off his body at high rates of speeds. He was on a killing spree when first discovered by the Doom Patrol and brought to justice. He is the ultimate killing machine, and the more blood he spills, the stronger he gets.
Why Him?: Mainly, his power set could be the most fascinating to see adapted to the screen. Playing remorseless serial killers seems like fun for actors to play, but the gory nature of his powers would be hard to pull off in a PG-13 film.
Real Name: Mongul
First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #27 (Nov. 1980)
Created By: Len Wein and Jim Starlin
Back Story: Mongul is the tyrannical ruler of a planet called Warworld whose plans for universal domination has been spoiled again and again by Superman. His son shares his name, his abilities and his lust for power and took over his quest for conquest.
Why Him?: To be honest, Mongul’s time in the Suicide Squad amounted to one panel in one issue of Adventures of Superman where he was laying on floor, bleeding after getting his butt kicked by Doomsday. But the character is one of DC’s most powerful and most dangerous. It would be fun to see Bautista play an alien warlord with a taste for violence.
The Tattooed Man
Real Name: Abel Tarrant
First Appearance: Green Lantern #23 (September 1963)
Created By: Gardner Fox and Gil Kane
Back Story: Tarrant was an ex-serviceman who stumbled upon a batch of strange chemicals during a robbery attempt. The chemical, when etched into his skin as tattoos, can be turned into a three-dimensional version of whatever object the tattoo is of. He has used this power to torment Green Lantern again and again.
Why Him?: If you are sensing a theme here, it’s that the characters I’ve picked bear a resemblance to Bautista: Wrestlers, big men/creatures, and, here, a tattooed man. Bautista has a number of tattoos on his body, so it would take limited makeup to add to his pre-existing artwork.
Rumors swirled around the shooting of the first film that Common was playing the Tattooed Man, but while his character has many tattoos, his main power seems to be letting the Joker goad him into ogling Harley Quinn and being killed by the Joker for doing so. So the character might be available for someone to play in the sequel.
Real Name: General Wade Eiling
First Appearance: Captain Atom #1 (March 1987)
Created By: Cary Bates and Pat Broderick
Back Story: General Eiling was a military strategist in charge of the atomic experiment that created the hero Captain Atom. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, Eiling has his brain patterns transferred into the body of an artificial, indestructible and monstrously strong creature called the Shaggy Man. In his new, unstoppable body, the general went full villain, fighting the Justice League and just about every other hero in the DC Universe.
Why Him?: If you add him to the sequel, you have someone who is absolutely evil and completely unstoppable. It would be a nice contrast to the “bad guys with a heart of gold” make up of the team. While it would be fun to see Bautista play a character like this, he might be too powerful for the screen, and an origin too convoluted to be clearly explained.
The character has appeared in human form in The Flash TV show on the CW.
Real Name: Albert Rothstein
First Appearance: All-Star Squadron #25 (September 1983)
Created By: Roy Thomas, Jerry Ordway and Mike Machlan
Back Story: Atom Smasher is a legacy hero, being the godson of the Atom that fought during World War II. Originally a hero named Nuklon, he became Atom Smasher when he joined the Justice Society of America. He can control his size and density, and has been a member of the Justice League and Infinity Inc.
Why Him?: Well, for one, he’s a hero. In the comics, his joining the Suicide Squad came at the end of a long fall from grace. A similar storyline might make him a good addition to the film’s sequel.
Real Name: Cyrus Gold
First Appearance: All-American Comics #61 (October 1944)
Created By: Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman
Back Story: Cyrus Gold was a man who met a bad end and ended up in Gotham’s Slaughter Swamp. Toxic chemicals that were dumped in the swamp brought Gold back to life as a hulking, muck-encrusted zombie. With no knowledge of a past life, he takes the name Solomon Grundy when he hears the 19-century poem being recited. Seemingly immortal, he has spend teh decades pestering Green Lantern, Batman and both the Justice Society and the Justice League.
Why Him?: He is one of DC’s oldest villains. He has appeared in a variety of different forms: Mindless, child-like, malevolent, manipulative, homicidal and even heroic. There are so many ways you can portray the character on screen, that you can mold him to whatever the plot needs. Having an actor like Dave Bautista play him would mean that whatever version you choose, it will probably steal the film.
So there you go. That a lot of characters to choose from. I’m sure you can come up with many more characters from in the comic book Suicide Squad and out. It will be interesting to see how everything pans out.