James Gunn is making a power move by joining Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe after being fired by Disney from its Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. Warner Bros. has confirmed to IndieWire that Gunn has been hired to write the script for “Suicide Squad 2.” According to The Wrap, Gunn may also direct the project. The project is Gunn’s first tentpole since Disney fired him after controversial tweets from his past resurfaced online.
The first “Suicide Squad” movie was directed by David Ayer and released in August 2016. The film featured a star-studded ensemble cast that included Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto as The Joker. “Suicide Squad” was panned by critics but proved to be a blockbuster at the box office, earning nearly $750 million worldwide on a $175 million production budget. The film launched Robbie’s DCEU career, which is set to continue with Cathy Yan’s “Birds of Prey” film.
Gunn is beloved for being the writer-director behind “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its sequel, “Vol. 2.” The director was developing the third “Guardians” film when Disney announced July 20 that it was severing ties with him over the offensive tweets. Despite pleas to Disney from the “Guardians” cast to rehire Gunn, the studio remained adamant about not letting Gunn back into the MCU.
This isn’t the first time the DCEU has taken creative talent from the MCU, as “The Avengers” director Joss Whedon came aboard “Justice League” after Zack Snyder left the project after a personal tragedy. Sources close to production say Gunn’s “Suicide Squad” will be a new take on the property and not a direct sequel to Ayer’s film.