Warner Bros. and DC have confirmed the cast for 2016’s Suicide Squad movie. Brimming full of A-List Hollywood actors, Suicide Squad will include names such as Jared Leto, Will Smith and Tom Hardy as The Joker, Deadshot and Rick Flag respectively as well as Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress.
The news follows the announcement of DC’s 10-movie slate, which also includes the likes of Wonder Woman (2017), Aquaman (2018) and a Green Lantern reboot (2020) and is an ambitious attempt to match the success of rivals Disney-owned Marvel Studios. DC and Marvel’s rivalry seems as old as time itself, with each possessing their own case for superiority over the other, but in recent years it is Marvel who have taken to the forefront of popular culture, boasting one of the most intricate and tightly woven cinematic universes in film history and making the likes of Iron Man and Captain America household names.
Amongst DC’s movie slate, are the standard superhero flicks, but it is Suicide Squad which is perhaps the biggest statement. Never before has there been a movie in which the protagonists are villains in their own right. The Suicide Squad are a group of imprisoned super villains who perform high-risk missions for the US Government in order to gain shorter prison sentences and it’s a great concept for a movie, flipping the generic ‘hero saves the day’ formula on its head.
With The Joker, arguably the most well known villain, at the helm of the Suicide Squad, it is down to Oscar winning actor Jared Leto to don the white face and chelsea grin, but that won’t be easy. 2008’s The Dark Knight saw the camp clown become more of a crazed psychopath, played by the late Heath Ledger in one of the greatest on-screen performances of recent years. Heath Ledger’s Joker is still fresh in movie goers minds, and for some, is the only version of The Joker they know. It could be too soon for the funny man to return to our screens, but it seems the new DC universe could be taking the character down a different avenue. For one, Harley Quinn, The Jokers accomplish and ‘on-off’ girlfriend will make her big screen debut suggesting we may see a softer side to the maniac killer. But while he’ll be bickering with his potential bride to be, we may also see an older more maddened Joker. With the cinematic universe being established, we already know that Ben Affleck’s Batman will be in the winter of his career, closely resembling Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns caped crusader. The Joker and Batman have always been portrayed as being the same age, and by casting Leto and Affleck, both of whom are 42, it may not be as bold a statement as first considered.
Tom Hardy will once again return to a DC role, this time playing Rick Flag, suggesting that The Dark Knight Trilogy will not be canon in this universe. Hardy played the outlaw Bane, in the third instalment of the trilogy The Dark Knight Rises and it looks like his enlarged biceps and triceps will be put to good use once again. Although there are a number of versions and origin stories, Rick Flag is a grizzled veteran whose mercenary acts makes him a huge asset to a number of organisations. Hardy plays a great no-nonsense hardman, with roles in RocknRolla and Lawless springing to mind as stand out performances.
With relatively new faces in Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne, as well as family favourite Will Smith, who rarely stars in ensemble pieces, Suicide Squad certainly offers enough variety and diversity to stake its claim amongst the superhero genre. As well as being outstanding in its own right, what Suicide Squad may offer is a launch pad for villains to come and go from, much like The Avengers has done in the Marvel universe. It’s been a long time coming, but villains might just become the heroes, and that is an interesting approach by DC.
Image Rights; DC Comics