SUICIDE SQUAD 2 Director Gavin O'Connor Says His Sequel Didn't Happen Because Warner Bros. Wanted A Comedy

Before James Gunn took charge of The Suicide Squad, Warrior director Gavin O'Connor was set to take the helm of a sequel to David Ayer's 2016 movie; now, he's explained why it didn't become a reality...

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James Gunn's The Suicide Squad was released to rave reviews last month, but underwhelmed at the box office in a big way. Regular moviegoers just didn't seem to respond to it the same way as critics, and a combination of factors (the pandemic, its HBO Max release, and a lack of interest in Task Force X after the 2016 movie) appeared to play a role in the film's underperformance. 

Gavin O'Connor was once set to pick up where David Ayer left off, writing and directing a Suicide Squad sequel for Warner Bros. Now, the filmmaker has opened up on why he decided to leave the project.

"What happened there was I wrote a deal to write a script, and they knew what I was writing," O'Connor told The Playlist during a recent interview. "At that level, with those kinds of movies, with that budget, no one's just going off and writing something without walking them through what the movie's gonna be, and everyone was cool with it."

"During the latter part of writing the script there was a whole regime change at DC, and when that happened, they wanted it to be a comedy, and I'm like, 'I'm not writing a comedy,'" O'Connor added. "I mean, it [was] fun, but it's not a yuk-fest. And the new regime wanted a different movie than I was writing."

Asked if he's seen The Suicide Squad (or has any interest in doing so), the director said he hasn't, and noted, "I have no interest [to see it], to be honest...I'm just doing my own thing."

Clearly, Warner Bros. wanted to move on from the dark tone established by movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, hence why Gunn proved to be a better fit for the studio. Of course, that's also why Joss Whedon was enlisted to reshoot Justice League and we all know how that ended!

The Suicide Squad recently left HBO Max, but is still playing in theaters. 

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out the 10 best Easter Eggs in The Suicide Squad!

10. Senator Cray

Amanda Waller has a relatively minor role in The Suicide Squad calling the shots from the safety of Belle Reve. However, with Task Force X busy in Corto Maltese, she takes a short break in order to practice her golf skills.

That's in anticipation of an upcoming game with Senator Cray, a character who is actually in the comic books. The corrupt politician doesn't have the most storied of histories, but he did make his first appearance in the pages of Suicide Squad #11 way back in 1987. 

His son, Adam, would later take Ray Palmer's place as the Atom and even served secretly on Task Force X for a while before confronting the man who murdered his father: Deadshot. 

9. Calendar Man, Double Down, And Kaleidoscope

Belle Reve isn't exactly crammed full of comic book bad guys, but keep your eyes peeled, and you'll spot some familiar faces from the source material. 

Sean Gunn plays Rocket on the set of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers movies (Bradley Cooper's voice is added in post-production), but pulls double duty as Kraglin in those movies. Well, the same happens here because as well as bringing Weasel to life, the actor makes a cameo appearance as Batman villain Calendar Man taunting poor Polka-Dot Man. 

He's joined by Double Down, and if you're wondering why his face is so messed up, it's because the comic book version peels his skin off to use as a weapon! Finally, we have Kaleidoscope; played by Peter Safran's wife, Natalia. She's the most impressive of the three as she can create illusions. 

8. Rick Flag

Why does Joel Kinnaman's Rick Flag spend so much of the movie in that ugly yellow t-shirt? Well, this was James Gunn's clever way of paying homage to John Ostrander's Suicide Squad run where the Task Force X leader wears a similarly colourful outfit. 

The hero's death in Jotunheim is also familiar; in the pages of 1989's Suicide Squad #26, Flag was killed there when the building exploded. The Suicide Squad's version obviously survives that and is later killed by Peacemaker, but seeing as 2007's Suicide Squad #1 revealed that Flag survived, perhaps there's hope for him yet?

We're not banking on it, but this was a clever way to pay homage to the source material. 

7. John Ostrander's Cameo

Talking of Ostrander, he does indeed make a cameo appearance in this movie. Gunn has talked a lot about how much the writer's Suicide Squad run influenced his live-action take on Task Force X, and he repays him in a big way here. 

Ostrander plays the doctor who implants the bomb in Savant's neck, a concept he actually came up with on the page. His 1987 relaunch of the team has heavily influenced how they've been portrayed ever since, including Amanda Waller being their leader, the fact they're a team of villains, and more. 

As for why his character is named "Fitzgibbon," that's a deep cut James Gunn Easter Egg as the filmmaker includes that name in each of his movies as a tribute to his friend, Larry Fitzgibbon.

6. S.T.A.R. Labs

At this point, it's become almost pointless to try and make sense of the DCEU's continuity, especially as this movie fails to ever directly reference the likes of Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey

There is, however, at least some connectivity because we learn that Abner Krill's mother was a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who infected him and his siblings with an alien virus that either killed them or turned them into "superheroes." We're not sure how Polka-Dot Man's mom got away with that, but Silas Stone was pretty busy dealing with his own son's transformation. 

It's certainly interesting that Gunn puts a twisted spin on S.T.A.R. Labs, and that's something we'd definitely be excited to see future DCEU movies expand on.

5. Jotunheim

We mentioned Rick Flag's death, and yes, Jotunheim was also lifted from the comic books. 

Located in Qurac instead of Corto Maltese, Ostrander introduced the location in Suicide Squad #1 for a briefing that is pretty much identical to the one in the source material (just with different villains in attendance). Amanda Waller broke the mission down using an overhead projector, potentially explaining Ratcatcher mentioning one in the movie. 

Asfor  the fortress itself, while it was home to a terrorist group rather than Starro the Conqueror, it looks exactly the same in The Suicide Squad as it did on the page. In case it's not already clear, Gunn is definitely a major Ostrander fan and clearly wanted to pay homage to his work here.

4. GBS

We can't wait for The Suicide Squad to be released on Blu-ray because those special features taking a deep dive into how James Gunn made this movie promise to be a joy to watch. 

The filmmaker finds ways of incorporating nods to the comic books in the most obscure of places, one of which comes during the final act. As Bloodsport's daughter watches him and the rest of Task Force X saving the day on television, it's on the GBS news channel. 

Better known as Galaxy Broadcasting System, the media giant was first introduced in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133. Clark Kent even served as a nightly news anchor during a rare spell not working for The Daily Planet, and if the name rings a bell, it's because Superman & Lois has recently reintroduced the company as a new organisation owned by Morgan Edge. 

3. Guardians Of The Galaxy Cameo

 Gunn manages to include a fun nod to his Guardians of the Galaxy movies by bringing back a familiar actor: Pom Klementieff.

The actress plays Mantis in the MCU, and while she doesn't have a speaking part in The Suicide Squad, she can be seen in one shot singing in the bar that Task Force X spends some time bonding in. She's doesn't exactly look like her normal self, so it's definitely an easy cameo to miss. 

Speculation that Klementieff might be in the movie began when she was spotted alongside some of the movie's cast when cameras were rolling, though it is a little disappointing she didn't get more to do. 

2. Bloodsport's Origin Story

Deadshot is M.I.A. in The Suicide Squad, and there's no explanation for his absence. Idris Elba's take on Bloodsport is badass enough to fill the void, though, and we learn that he put Superman in the ICU after gunning him down with a Kryptonite bullet. 

This isn't a throwaway line just meant to make him sound like a threat; it actually happened in the comic books! There, he actually used Kryptonite needles rather than bullets and was working with Lex Luthor at the time. This movie doesn't elaborate on his reasons for shooting Supes, but it seems the Man of Steel's vulnerability to Kryptonite is no longer a secret in this DCEU.

Hopefully, we see this origin expanded on in some way, shape, or form down the line. However, Peacemaker mentioning that Bloodsport kills for money makes us think he was a hired gun. 

1. Harley Quinn's Tattoo

Gunn has confirmed that he based Harley Quinn's red and black wardrobe on her appearance in the Arkham games, and like Birds of Prey before it, this movie makes it clear she's moved on from The Joker.

Her hatred of personalised license plates probably has something to do with the Clown Prince of Crime having them in 2016's Suicide Squad, while she makes several vague comments about a past bad relationship after gunning down Corto Maltese's new dictactor. 

However, the biggest change is her tattoo: "Property of The Joker" now reads "Property of No One."

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