After the critical failure of the first film, James Gunn replaced David Ayer to direct “The Suicide Squad”. The opportunity for the filmmaker to introduce new characters like King Shark. But by the way, who is hiding behind this character?
The Suicide Squad: a slightly different sequel
In 2016, David Ayer is responsible for directing Suicide Squad. If the film explodes at the box office with more than $746 million in revenue (for a budget of 175 million), it received mostly negative reviews. In 2021, Warner decided to produce an indirect sequel to Suicide Squad and employs James Gunn to carry out this project. The director, already accustomed to superhero films (Great, Guardians of the Galaxy), therefore embarks on the realization of The Suicide Squad.
Some characters from the first movie like Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) are back, but the vast majority of the cast is made up of new faces. Thereby, Idris Elba becomes Bloodsport, John Cena goes into PeaceMaker’s clothes, Daniela Melchior plays Ratcatcher 2 and David Dastmalchian takes on the role of Polka-Dot Man. A whole new team, therefore, finds itself managing totally crazy missions. Yes, The Suicide Squad received much more positive reviews than its predecessor, the feature film (released simultaneously on HBO Max) only brought in $167 million at the box office (for a budget of $185 million).
Who is behind King Shark?
As in many of his films, James Gunn likes to place a small mascot in his story. The saga Guardians of the Galaxy had Groot, The Suicide Squad a King Shark. Created in 1994 by Karl Kesel, King Shark is a meta-human from an alternate Earth who possesses the characteristics of both a man and a shark. A strange character, both menacing and endearing, King Shark makes a strong impression in The Suicide Squad. But did you know that the character is played by two actors?
Indeed, for motion capture, it’s the comedian Steve Agee who hides behind. The latter was on the set to give a physical presence to the character and thus help the other actors. The actor wore a huge hull covering his torso and a helmet with two eye holes to allow his partners to determine the correct gaze height. As for dubbing, he was entrusted to Sylvester Stallone. Indeed, the latter is the voice of King Shark in The Suicide Squad. James Gunn wrote the role directly for Sylvester Stallone:
I knew Sly, and I even know him quite well. So I wrote the role of King Shark with his voice in mind. But the character didn’t really take shape until Sly recorded his voice. When I heard it, I said to myself ‘that’s it, we have our King Shark’. His voice gave a density to the character that I hadn’t seen before.
It is therefore the second time Sylvester Stallone has worked with James Gunn after his short appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Normally, it should even reappear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.