The comic book world’s take on The Dirty Dozen is coming to life next year with a big screen version of Suicide Squad, the DC Comics group of criminals who take on missions in exchange for lighter prison sentences.
From left to right, that’s Adam Beach (Everwood, Hawaii Five-0), as Slipknot, Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher, Terminator: Genisys) as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie (Pan Am, The Wolf of Wall Street) as Harley Quinn, Will Smith (Men in Black, I, Robot) as Deadshot, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, Thor: The Dark World) as Killer Croc, and Jay Hernandez as El Diablo.
Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, head of the agency A.R.G.U.S., and Jared Leto will play The Joker.
All of this will look a bit familiar to fans of the television version of the DC Universe. CW’s Arrow has had its own Suicide Squad, with none of the actors overlapping roles for the film. The group itself stems from a 1987 retooling by John Ostrander of a team from the 1950s era of the series The Brave and the Bold, in the pages of its own DC Comics monthly series.
The movie will have its challenges. First, any cast of leads this big will not be able to support much of a story, especially if rumors pan out that Ben Affleck’s Batman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, and Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor have a role in the film. Films with casts like this, think Armaggeddon for one, give you little opportunity to know much about the characters except for a few, save a bunch of one-liners. Second, accessibility to mainstream audiences will be a challenge. Guardians of the Galaxy was another set of C-level comic book characters, which has had success that seems to be an exception, maybe because it was funny, lighthearted, and full of heart. The Suicide Squad is a necessarily bleak crew. As with The Dirty Dozen, it will also need to have plenty of humor if it expects to grab audiences.
Suicide Squad has only just begun filming in Toronto. It has a scheduled release date of August 5, 2016.