When Warner Bros. and DC Comics decided they’d try another stab at a Suicide Squad movie following the poorly received 2016 installment, it made perfect sense when they recruited James Gunn for the mission.
Gunn had very recently turned a ragtag team of relatively obscure Marvel misfits into household names with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and its 2017 sequel. And in a case of life imitating art, Gunn himself was in the doghouse at the time of his hiring, fired from the Guardians Vol. 3 after a series of offensive joke tweets from years past, resurfaced (the writer-director was later re-hired). The Suicide Squad follows a task force of antiheroes given a chance at redemption for their past misdeeds.
The similarities between Gunn’s Guardians and Suicide Squad are undeniable, from their ensemble sizes and rampant use of humor to anthropomorphic members (Guardians has Groot and Rocket the Raccoon, The Suicide Squad has King Shark and Weasel) and female alien warriors (Guardians has Gamora and Nebula, the squad has Mongal) to the cast’s wise-cracking wrestlers-turned-actors (Dave Bautista, John Cena).
“James Gunn has a signature sort of thing, the kind of vibe that you get from Guardians of the Galaxy, where you’re like, ‘Wow, this is world-building and it’s huge and it’s a spectacle but I’m actually really emotionally invested and I really like these people,” Margot Robbie, who reprises her role as Harley Quinn, tells Yahoo Entertainment in a virtual press day for The Suicide Squad (watch above).
“It has that kind of relaxed, kind of cool vibe that Guardians has, and that’s a James Gunn touch,” says Alice Braga, who plays Sol Soria.
But Gunn’s cast also point out ways in which the The Suicide Squad is not at all DC’s riff on Guardians of the Galaxy — citing major differences like their tones and ratings (the Guardians movies have been PG-13 while the ultra-violent, death-filled The Suicide Squad is a hard R).
“The vision is really deep, as it is in the Guardians films, but I think they’re very separate,” says Idris Elba, who plays Bloodsport and knows the MCU well from his appearances as Heimdall in the Thor and Avengers films. “Different tonality, R-rated movie, adult-themed versus something a little bit more commercial. This has something closer to the bone perspective from the comic books.”
Adds Robbie: “The comedy is even pushed, the violence is pushed. It’s like someone got the volume and just cranked it all the way up to a hundred from the minute the movie begins.”
The Suicide Squad opens Friday.
Watch the trailer:
-Video produced by Kat Vasquez and edited by Luis Saenz
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