Okay, let’s call this a win in the DC/Warners category.Whereas Marvel Studios picks reclamation projects, up-and-comers, and off-genre actors to be the leads in their films, Warners is going to the A-List for the cast of their first mostly non-Batman, mostly non-Superman entry into their newly christened shared universe.
Variety is reporting that Warner Brothers’ upcoming adaptation of DC Comics’ Suicide Squad, which is set to begin production in April, has cast a number of its actors. And the list is full of recent Oscar winners and worldwide box office draws.
Jared Leto, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne have been cast as, respectively, the Joker, Deadshot, Rick Flagg, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Enchantress in the super-villain team-up.
One look at the character line-up and comic fans can tell that the film will be based on the last 30 years of the concept from the comics, where super-villains are consigned into service to the government to go on suicide missions for them. If they survive, they get pardoned. If they try to escape before the job is done, they are maimed if not killed.
It is also clear that the film will not follow too closely any particular storyline. Rick Flagg has been involved in every installment of the team, but Harley Quinn has only been part of the most recent version and, to my knowledge, the Joker was never part of the team at all, or if he was, not for very long.
Another thing that is known is that Warners is not fooling around with their comic book movie slate. Will Smith is coming off the disappointing After Earth, but he is still one of the biggest box office draws in Hollywood, and his films always score well overseas. Add to that newly-minted Oscar-winner Jared Leto, a Tom Hardy that is on the cusp of superstardom, two young actors in Margaret Robbie and Jai Courtney who have started making names for themselves in high profile projects, and the relative unknown Cara Delevigne, you might have one of the best casts ever in a comic book film.
Warners has yet to cast the team’s government liaison, Amanda Waller yet. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey are on the shortlist, with Winfrey supposedly being the studio’s favorite. It seems highly unlikely that Warners would be able to woo Winfrey for this role, but if they do, I hope they add in a line of dialogue that states “You get an explosive bracelet! And you get an explosive bracelet! And you get and an explosive bracelet! And you!”
Of course, Waller has already appeared on the big screen before, played by Angela Bassett in Green Lantern. This is probably a pretty good sign that Warners is going to pretend that film never existed. Amanda Waller has also appeared in Smallville and Arrow, as has Deadshot and Captain Boomerang is set to appear in Arrow and The Flash. None of the above cast has appeared in these shows as these characters, so this is another sign that Warners’ DC TV and Film universes are to be considered separate. I hope they consider the two media separate universes and have a crossover between the two. Until then, I wait to hear what Steven Amell has to say.
Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.