Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2016 by Angie Han
Even your average non-geek will have a pretty good idea of who the Justice League or the X-Men or the Avengers are. But in comparison, the characters of Suicide Squad are a relatively unknown bunch. Aside from Harley Quinn, none of them are really what you’d call household names. And even if you do know these guys from the comics, the versions in the movie are all-new. No one’s met these iterations yet.
So during our set visit, we got the skinny on all the new bad guys and not-so-bad guys, from Amanda Waller to Deadshot to (of course) the Joker. Get all the new Suicide Squad character details below, including info on their backstories, costumes, and storylines.
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis): The Mastermind
If you’ve seen the Suicide Squad trailer, you already know the whole thing is the brainchild of Amanda Waller, a government agent. Unlike the Squad members, she’s not technically a villain — but don’t assume she’s some sort of nice noble hero. Producer Andy Horowitz describes her as “one of the scariest characters in the movie.”
Producer Richard Suckle puts it even more succinctly. “The best way I can put it, she’s just a bad motherfucker.”
As bad as she may be, and I say the word bad because she’s forcing people against their will, she also has a very distinct point of view and she’s doing it for what, in her mind, is the right reason. […] You don’t fuck with her because the consequences are worse than what she was asking you to do. That’s really the best thing I can say.
Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman): The Leader
Rick Flag’s another one who’s not really a villain. As director David Ayer describes him, he’s “a tier-one military officer.” But Flag does have one thing in common with the other Squad members, which is that he doesn’t really want to be there. Said Suckle:
[Flag] works for Amanda Waller, which means he has to do whatever Amanda Waller says. Not necessarily an A-level assignment on the surface, but he’s playing the parent to the class of clowns and the unruly kids, and Joel plays it beautifully. […] He has to be able to manage all those relationships and personalities, and their energies and attitudes in a way that ultimately will get the job done, which makes his job very difficult.
To prepare Kinnaman for the role, Ayer gave him reading material like Charlie Beckwith’s memoir Delta Force. Oh, and he sent Joel Kinnaman to work with actual military members. “[Kinnaman] did a ton of training. He really did,” said Horowitz. “We had real Navy SEALs, that are actually in the film as well, that worked with Joel and did a full immersion for a few nights in the middle of nowhere and sleeping out in the cold, and not sleeping, and working out every day.”
Katana (Karen Fukuhara): The Protector
Fortunately, Rick Flag isn’t all alone with these nutjobs. He’s got Katana in his corner. The character was an unexpected addition to the Suicide Squad cast, since she doesn’t really roll with that crowd in the comics. But here, she’s Rick Flag’s protector. And according to Karen Fukuhara, that may make Katana the deadliest Squad member of all:
[Katana is] not into fighting for herself, that’s the giri-ninjo part. It’s for someone else. And when someone doesn’t care about her own well-being, to kill someone else and to protect someone, that makes her the scariest one. Try fighting someone that doesn’t care about what the outcome is for them, you know? You’re going against someone who’s going to give it their all no matter how many times you shoot at them. That’s why she’s so badass.
Despite her loyalty to Rick, Fukuhara describes her character as a lone wolf who’s “not so friendly” with the other Squad members. There’s a lot of pain in her backstory, as evidenced by the fact that her weapon of choice is Soultaker — a sword that has her dead husband’s spirit trapped within.
Katana is one of the few Suicide Squad cast members who looks more or less like her ink-and-paper counterpart, so it’s not surprising to hear Fukuhara dug deep into comics like Katana and Birds of Prey for research. Going outside the DC universe, Fukuhara also referenced Rurouni Kenshin, Mikasa in Attack on Titan, and Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai as inspirations.
Deadshot (Will Smith): The Other Leader
Now let’s get into more straightforwardly villainous territory. “Deadshot is a no-brainer because he’s just a core element of that team,” Ayer said of the character’s inclusion in the movie. Deadshot, a.k.a. Floyd Lawton, is the head of the team along with Rick Flag. Well, sort of. “It’s like herding cats. They don’t care,” said Ayer of the Squad’s reaction to their ostensible leader.
Will Smith has spent most of his career playing good, likable men, which had us wondering if his version of Deadshot would be more of an antihero. But no, Ayer said, he’s “probably a supervillain.”
He’s a bad guy. They are all bad guys. That’s the beauty of this. That’s the fun of the genre. I think Will is incredibly versatile and can handle any kind of role you throw at him.
Horowitz described Smith’s Deadshot as “kind of a combination of I think some old school Deadshot and the New 52 version of Deadshot,” with elements of antihero and supervillain. Deadshot’s costume, as we’ve already seen, is fairly accurate to the comics — although in typical Suicide Squad fashion it’s decorated with words like “I am the light, the way.” “It’s [Deadshot’s] saying, it’s written on obviously his wrist magnums and his gun and it’s written around his collar as well,” said Horowitz.