james gunn taking over Suicide Squad 2

Yesterday, the superhero movie fan community was surprised to learn that Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn might be jumping ship from Marvel to DC to write and potentially direct Suicide Squad 2. Guardians actor Dave Bautista is excited about Warner Bros. and DC’s decision, jokingly (maybe?) suggesting that he wants to be involved in the anti-hero sequel.

But there’s someone else who also approves of Gunn as the person who could tell the next chapter of the Suicide Squad’s story: David Ayer, the man who directed the first film back in 2016.

If you’d like a good laugh, read the replies to this tweet and see how many people are desperately trying to convince themselves that Ayer’s statement is sarcastic. (“It seems like a suggested tweet,” one says. “Not his own words.”) Ayer apparently saw enough of those types of responses that he felt the need to clarify the intention of his tweet soon after:

To be absolutely clear, Warner Bros. and DC probably could not care any less about what Ayer thinks about their hiring decisions. It’s not like they’re standing around waiting for his approval. This was simply a classy move on Ayer’s part to publicly give his blessing to Gunn, a fellow filmmaker who’s been unfairly embattled due to a bad-faith online campaign by far-right extremists who succeeded in bullying Disney into firing Gunn from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

If Gunn ends up taking the gig, he will be the third director from Marvel to make the jump to DC. Patty Jenkins was fired from Marvel Studios’ Thor: The Dark World before eventually going on to direct Wonder Woman, Joss Whedon helmed The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron before bouncing over to rewrite and finish shooting DC’s Justice League after Zack Snyder had to step away, and now Gunn, who has written and directed both Guardians movies so far and whose script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is apparently still being used, even if he was booted from the Disney/Marvel family.

One report said Gunn would have “a whole new take” on the team of Suicide Squad antiheroes, and that Suicide Squad 2 wouldn’t be a sequel. It’s possible he could even recast the whole team, though it seems silly to abandon Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn – especially when the latter has another movie coming up soon.

Ayer’s Suicide Squad underwent a famously rushed production overflowing with behind-the-scenes problems, and while Ayer stood by his film at the time of its release, he later admitted he wished he had a time machine so he could go back and fix the mistakes he made writing and directing it.

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