Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a disappointment. I know there are mobs of fans ready to lynch me for even suggesting that it had any flaws whatsoever but the first film to include Bats and Supes in the same frames should be uniting fans and not dividing them. I’ve written extensively on Dawn of Justice’s flaws and my concern for DC’s future cinematic universe but now its time to shake things up a little and talk about a ray of hope that comes in the form of Suicide Squad, which debuted a new trailer at the MTV Movie Awards.
Suicide Squad will follow the exploits of a group of super villains brought together by a secret agency of the government for high-risk black ops missions in exchange for reduced prison sentences. The film is directed by David Ayer (Fury, Training Day) and features an ensemble cast of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne and Jared Leto as The Joker. If that wasn’t enough, Ben Affleck is set to reprise his role as Batman in, what is reported to be, a cameo capacity.
There’s a lot to process in this two and a half minute trailer, including footage both old and new. Quite interestingly, we see a hell of a lot of Batman for what is supposedly a cameo appearance, in what looks to be a chase sequence involving him, The Joker and Harley Quinn, possibly in response to the universally positive reception that Ben Affleck received for Dawn of Justice. We also catch more of a glimpse of Jared Leto’s Joker, and with each frame of new footage I see, I grow more and more in confidence that Leto’s Joker will be the star of the show, seemingly differentiating himself enough from Heath Ledger’s own brilliant take on the character.
This teaser also sheds some limelight on the other members of the Suicide Squad, with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Will Smith’s Deadshot dominating the previous two trailers. Katana, Killer Croc and El Diablo are seen doing more than looking menacing; showing their interactions between themselves in a move that evokes curiosity and promises more humour than Batman v Superman’s dour offering last month. Just to be clear, I’m not saying I want character’s cracking one-liners every 5 minutes, but I do want humour that comes naturally (and differently) from each character. It helps to humanise these fantastical characters that we see on screen, as well as relate and care about them. It’s also worth noting that we still barely know anything about Suicide Squad’s plot despite this being our third full-length trailer, with Warner Bros seemingly learning from their Batman v Superman marketing experience.
Suicide Squad represents a sizable risk for Warner Bros and DC, being the first superhero film to feature villains as the main characters. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is probably the closest to that concept but they still aren’t out and out villains, instead being seen as loveable rogues. I feel like Warner Bros has taken the right steps to making Suicide Squad a successful film employing talented director David Ayer to helm and write, whose work on 2014’s Fury was criminally overlooked. Ayer has a great track record of balancing the focus between a group of anti-heroes with Fury and Sabotage, as he is faced with bringing a whole set of characters, previously unseen by the normal movie-going audience, together. I am confident that he can skirt the fine line between given us exposition about each of these new characters with the plot of the actual movie.
Even my creeping doubts that were starting to set in, after reports of Warner Bros ordering re-shoots to shoe-horn in more humour, have been squashed by David Ayer himself as he took to twitter to announce that the additional shooting is for more action,
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) April 11, 2016
Here’s hoping that Suicide Squad can do the impossible and unite a fan-base, that has been bitterly divided by Batman v Superman, when it finally releases on August 5th.