An unconfirmed December 2014 report Tuesday from the folks at Latino Review (who’ve broken a number of stories in the past) stated that Viola Davis had been cast as Amanda Waller in Warner Bros.’ 2016 “Suicide Squad” film adaptation.
That has now been confirmed by the actress herself! She told etalk, during a red carpet interview at last weekend’s Oscars, that she will indeed be playing Waller in the Warner Bros. project (watch the video at the bottom of this post). As previously reported, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey were said to be the studio’s top choices for the part. And as I said previously, of the 3, I’d run with Viola Davis, because, from what I know about Amanda Waller, I felt, and still do feel, that Viola has the necessary imposing presence for the part. At least, she can definitely give the audience that, if she wanted to. She has the physique for it.
For the uninitiated, Amanda Waller is the leader of the Squad (in the same way Nick Fury leads S.H.I.E.L.D.), who you might remember as the character Angela Bassett played in the “Green Lantern” movie, and by the younger Cynthia Addai-Robinson on the “Arrow” TV series.
Comic book enthusiasts will be familiar with Waller’s, shall we say, full-bodied frame, which I suppose would explain why the studio was also considering Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey. Since her introduction in the 1980’s, the tough-as-nails leader has been depicted in comics as short and overweight, her size varying from artist to artist – a frame usually supported by stiletto heels. In more recent years, she’s sported a slimmer look – although she’s never been what we’d call “thin.” Waller is actually one of the few prominent rotund characters in superhero comics. But, thankfully, her weight really has never been used for comic relief, nor is it in any way connected to some superpower. The character just is, standing out as a squat, middle-aged force to be reckoned with.
That’s why fans of the comic protested when the character was revived in 2011, sporting an entirely different look – she was suddenly now blending in with the rest of the hard-bodied, tiny-waisted, voluptuous, if unrealistic-looking hotties that rule comic book pages.
From Racialicious at the time: “What made Waller unique was that she really did look like a regular person – she just had enough of an iron will to maneuver herself into a position of power. For DC to seemingly transform her into one more skinny gal seems to be a particularly arbitrary choice in a company-wide relaunch that has already divided its’ existing fanbase. Or, if this move was made in order to entice new readers to give the new Squad a shot, then who does this company exactly want to attract?”
Interestingly, I don’t recall that there was much push-back from fans of the original character, when Angela Bassett played her in “Green Lantern” a few years ago, because she’s definitely in fabulous physical shape, and has always been. Then again, so is Viola Davis, who has a somewhat similar strong physique, and looks nothing like the Waller character as originally defined.
But I’d still go with her over Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey. I just think she has the more intimidating presence of the 3.
Davis joins an ensemble cast that includes Will Smith who’ll be playing the character known as Deadshot, as well as
What do you think of Viola Davis as Amanda Waller?
The “Suicide Squad” series follows a group of super-villains who are forced to go on covert missions for a shadowy government agency, in exchange for commuted sentences.
WB plans to release the movie 2016.
Watch Viola Davis’ confirmation below:
— etalk (@etalkCTV) February 24, 2015