James Gunn Shares The Most Difficult Shot In The Suicide Squad

James Gunn's antihero military film "The Suicide Squad" reportedly cost $185 million to make, and that money certainly made its way onto the screen: there are several jaw-dropping set pieces, as well as imagery (specifically during the climactic battle) that I never thought I'd see in a mainstream comic book film. The challenges to direct such a big movie with such a sprawling cast and multiple storylines must have been immense, but according to the movie's writer/director, the toughest shot to achieve was relatively simple compared to some of the more over-the-top or stylistic parts of the film that you might expect to have given the crew major obstacles to overcome.

The Most Difficult Shot in The Suicide Squad

Looking back at "The Suicide Squad," I can think of probably fifty shots that I would guess as being the most challenging to achieve during the production: anything in the colorful Harley Quinn fight, the flooding/tilting building escape, the epic leap directly into the giant alien starfish's eyeball, and the list goes on. (Man, this movie goes to some funky places.) But it turns out the most difficult shot in the whole film was a relatively simple backwards tracking shot that pans across the faces of several Squad members as they're walking toward the camera.

According to Gunn, that specific shot was "the most pain-in-the-ass shot to get in all of The Suicide Squad."

Why Was It So Tough to Capture?

Gunn elaborated about why the shot was so hard to get right. "Pulling back a cart on bumpy terrain with a camera on a slider. We did it like 35 times & I still wasn't happy with it but we had a huge day of shooting so I just had to give up."

In subsequent tweets, he said ideally the shot "should land and stay more centered on Idris' face at the end more like the beginning of the shot. But, with real people walking in a real location, it was incredibly difficult to even get this." I personally didn't notice the unevenness while watching the movie, and I would bet that 99% of viewers didn't clock it upon first watch, either. But that's easy for me to say: I'm not the one who devoted years of my life to dreaming up and orchestrating this entire production, so I can totally see why an annoying imperfection like this (as opposed to the film's many imperfections that were purposefully planned) would be enough to stick in the filmmaker's craw.

In case any of you refuse to believe this and are shaking your heads and saying, "The shots in that flooding building HAD to be more difficult than this!", Gunn addressed that in another tweet. Those water shots, he said, "were incredibly difficult but we planned them out so well they were relatively easier – and I got exactly what I wanted in most cases."

"The Suicide Squad" is currently available to rent or purchase on all major platforms.