James Gunn’s bonkers new DCEU movie The Suicide Squad pushes the limits of what you thought a studio would be willing to do with a superhero movie. You might think that would make a studio nervous. After all, superhero movies are one of the most bankable genres around these days, so why mess with the formula?
Well, the executives at Warner Bros were clearly feeling brave when they hired Gunn as they gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with his new movie. At a press conference attended by The Digital Fix to promote The Suicide Squad, producer Peter Safran said they trusted him “100%” while he was making the action movie.
“James came in with an unbelievable clarity of what he wanted, and what he pitched to us is exactly what you see on the screen today, and it never changed,” Safran explained. “He knew exactly what he wanted to do, so it was about giving him the tools to do it for Chuck and me. Part of that was just giving him the freedom to cast whoever he wanted, shoot in whatever way he wanted. The studio gave him complete carte blanche, and the movie you see is a result of that, and I think it’s pretty evident we made the right choice in trusting him 100% to do this film.”
While most would be relieved at the amount of trust being shown in them, Gunn said that it actually made him more nervous, explaining he felt the pressure to take risks and make The Suicide Squad as entertaining as possible.
“Just the fact I knew I was being entrusted with this enormous amount of freedom on such a big-budget movie, it felt like a huge responsibility to do it the best I could,” Gunn said. “But also because I was given so much freedom I felt a responsibility to take risks and making movies at this level, it does seem that big movies are the ones people are going to see in theatres, and if we don’t continue to take risks and change and try new things then people aren’t going to want to come to the theatre if it’s the same boring three-act structure every time. People are going to get bored.”
Producer Charles Roven joked that it was a constant escalation of the “oh my gods”, to which Safran replied: “When James pitched that one of the characters was going to be a 200-foot pink starfish, once you get over that there’s nothing else he’ll do that’ll surprise you.”
Starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, and Peter Capaldi, The Suicide Squad is a sequel to the 2016 movie of the same name. The adventure movie sees the team dispatched to the island of Corto Maltese to stop an evil general from getting his hands on something called Project Starfish.
The Suicide Squad hits cinemas here in the UK on July 30, 2021, and will arrive in the US on August 5.