While “The Suicide Squad” is currently in theaters, James Gunn returned to the history of his film, and in particular the abandoned ideas. Among these was the desire to make Superman the big bad of the story.
The Suicide Squad : James Gunn at the helm
After David Ayer’s film, released in 2016, Warner has decided to produce a sequel to Suicide Squad. Humbly titled The Suicide Squad, this sequel is directed by James Gunn, and is available in theaters since July 28. In this new opus, the filmmaker decides to make a clean sweep of the past. He chose not to cover some actors like Will Smith and Jared Leto, and introduced a whole panoply of new characters: Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peace Maker, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, etc. … Only Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney are back in this explosive sequel. The film has won over the press and has so far earned more than $ 118 million in revenue.
Superman as a big bad guy?
While ultimately the Suicide Squad must face the comical Starro at the end of the film, initially James Gunn had thought of an entirely different villain. Indeed, for a while, the filmmaker had the idea to stage a villainous Superman. In a recent interview with Script Apart, the director explained that he believes his team have to face Earth’s greatest hero. However, after careful consideration and the observation that the use of Superman would pose problems of continuity, James Gunn opted for the giant starfish:
There was a time when I thought The Suicide Squad should fight Superman. Back then there were a lot of questions like, “Who is Superman in the DCEU?” Is this movie outside of the DCEU? And I just didn’t want to worry too much about it.
Finally, Superman is mentioned once in the film. Spectators learn that Bloodsport is in jail for shooting Superman with a Kryptonite bullet. But the Man of Steel does not appear in the feature film. James Gunn is not the first to have this idea since Zack Snyder also wanted to present a Superman on the wrong side of the Force in his aftermath of Justice League. Eventually, fans had to settle for a small streak in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, where Superman is mean for a few minutes.
Starro: the perfect villain for The Suicide Squad
But if James Gunn gave up on Superman as the big bad, the question remains as to why he chose Starro instead of this one. The filmmaker provided an element of the answer during this same interview:
He’s a character that I love in the comics. I think he’s a perfect comic book character because he’s absolutely ridiculous but also very scary in his own way. What he is doing is scary. He used to scare me as a kid, putting those faces on Superman and Batman. So I thought he was one of the biggest villains in DC that was probably never going to be put in another movie. And if they had, it would have been a “black cloud” version of Starro. Not a giant walking starfish, a hot pink and cerulean blue kaiju, that ridiculously tall and shiny villain.
We can hardly fault James Gunn. His analysis of the matter is totally true. Starro is the kind of villain who will never be reused, or in a totally different way. Giant and cosmic antagonists are often represented by a large, uniform, soulless cloud. The proof with Galactus in Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer or Alioth in Loki. And while Superman’s presence would have been very exciting, Starro is nevertheless a perfect antagonist for The Suicide Squad.