'The Suicide Squad': James Gunn Explains Why His Version Of King Shark Isn't A Hammerhead

While Polka-Dot Man has weaseled his way into some fans' hearts (read: mine), another character from James Gunn's upcoming comic book movie sequel The Suicide Squad seems to have captured the attention of the world in the wake of the film's most recent trailer: King Shark, the massive half-man, half-shark beast who eats human beings whole and gnaws on human skulls for kicks.

However, in the pages of DC Comics, King Shark has often been depicted as a hammerhead, not a Great White. So what's up with the curveball, Mr. Gunn? Read his answer below.

"I did tests with the hammerhead design, which I love and originally thought I'd use," Gunn said recently on Twitter when asked about the design change for the King Shark character. "But having eyes on the sides far apart made it incredibly awkward shooting interactions with other people. You couldn't really see him looking at the other person and the shots tended to be too wide. But I was insistent on the dad-bod from the beginning as I didn't think King Shark would have such mammalian body structure."

Gunn also responded to a fan who pointed out the similarity in design between The Suicide Squad's King Shark and the version of the character who appears in the Harley Quinn animated series on HBO Max. Plus, Gunn points out that they were specifically trying to avoid the typical formulaic tricks to achieve a "cute" vibe for the character when they designed him:

David Ayer, who directed the much-maligned 2016 Suicide Squad film, originally intended to have King Shark be one of the members of that movie's "skwad." Early reports had even pegged boxer Raymond Olubawale to play him. But after going down that path for a little while, Ayer ended up changing his mind. "One of the characters I was thinking about for the squad lineup was actually King Shark," Ayer said previously. "But we realized it would take a lot of work, a lot of CG work. I wasn't quite comfortable having a full CG character. We actually ended up going with Killer Croc, who turned out to be the right guy for the job."

Fun fact: King Shark popped up on an episode of The CW series The Flash way back in 2015, something one of the show's producers described as "a very expensive 30 seconds of the show, but our visual effects team are the best and they love challenges like this."