James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad may have underperformed at the box office, but it’s been praised by critics for being a huge improvement over the 2016 original and a fun, action-packed comic book romp in its own right.
However, according to IGN, Gunn’s work in the DCEU is far from over. DC Films president Walter Hamada said that Gunn will “be back […as] we have more stuff planned.” If this is the case, then fans are certainly on board and excited to see what could come next as there are plenty of comic book properties that Gunn could tackle next.
According to Digital Spy, Gunn considered making Superman the main villain of The Suicide Squad. He decided against it because the DCEU’s Superman is too vaguely defined, but the idea of a Gunn-helmed Superman story is an intriguing one.
Zack Snyder’s Superman movies have had some interesting concepts, like self-doubt and gritty realism, but they’ve lacked the warmth and humor of traditional Superman adventures. The director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies would surely see to that as he often incorporates these elements into his own projects.
9 Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle is the name of a few DC superheroes who got their powers from a “sacred scarab” – or from a magical vitamin, depending on the version of the origin story. With abilities like flight and energy projection, Blue Beetle could star in a great solo movie.
There’s a DCEU-set Blue Beetle movie in development, with Angel Manuel Soto in the director’s chair, but if Soto drops out or that incarnation of the project never materializes, Gunn could do an interesting job adapting the comic.
8 Plastic Man
Superhero movies have been getting more and more comedic since audiences around the world fell in love with Guardians of the Galaxy. DC’s flexible hero Plastic Man is notable for being the first superhero to bring humor into action-driven comics.
Gunn could have as much fun with the goofy superpowers of Plastic Man, and could easily change into a more adept and dangerous threat (just like he did with Polka Dot Man in The Suicide Squad).
7 The Legion Of Doom
With The Suicide Squad, Gunn already proved he can turn one group of villains into a band of interesting antiheroes that the audience can sympathize with and get behind.
Next, he could tackle a different group of DC villains: the Legion of Doom. Unlike the C-listers in The Suicide Squad, the Legion of Doom is made up of icons like Lex Luthor, the Joker, Sinestro, Black Adam, and the Reverse-Flash. With such huge complex characters, fans would never be bored as it could also include plots involving some of DC major superheroes too.
6 Green Lantern
Green Lantern is one of the last major members of the Justice League who hasn’t been properly introduced into the DCEU. There have been a couple of Easter eggs confirming the Green Lantern Corps’ existence in this cinematic universe, but Hal Jordan (or John Stewart, Jessica Cruz, or one of the others) needs a DCEU solo movie to make up for the disappointment of Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern film.
Hal Jordan is essentially DC’s Peter Quill, so it would make sense for Gunn to make a Green Lantern movie. Hal gets his powers from a ring and belongs to an intergalactic superhero club, so it’s different enough than Guardians to avoid feeling like a re-tread.
There’s already a Constantine movie out there, but despite the involvement of the great Keanu Reeves, it failed to live up to the sinister edge of its source material.
James Gunn could make an awesome hybrid action-horror movie about the paranormal antics of John Constantine. Constantine is a hard-boiled, working-class detective who mainly takes on cases focusing on the occult. In Gunn’s hands, a Constantine movie could be Chinatown meets The Exorcist.
After being introduced as the DCEU’s Deathstroke in Justice League’s post-credits scene, Joe Manganiello has been seriously short-changed by the franchise. He was being primed as the main villain of Ben Affleck’s Batman solo movie, but that ended up being replaced with a reboot.
With any luck, DC’s top mercenary can be redeemed with his own movie. Gunn has proven with the characters of Bloodsport and Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad that he can make gripping antiheroes out of comic book assassins.
3 Swamp Thing
There have already been two Swamp Thing movies, but neither of them were particularly well-received. The character is an anthropomorphic clump of vegetation, so it’s tricky to make them a compelling protagonist; however, the property is crying out to be turned into a classic monster movie.
With his background in horror – and particularly in monster-infested B-movies, having been mentored at Troma Entertainment before making his directorial debut with Slither – Gunn is the ideal filmmaker to helm this project.
Hailing from the utopian planet of Czarnia, Lobo is an intergalactic bounty hunter who’s primed for the big-screen treatment. After being introduced as a straightforward villain in the ‘80s, Lobo was recharacterized as an antihero in the ‘90s to satirize the trend of dark, gritty comics.
Based on his three-dimensional renderings of antiheroes like Drax and Rick Flag, Gunn could pen a thrilling script for a Lobo movie.
Ever since Christopher Nolan helmed Batman Begins, Batman movies have been dark and gritty. Zack Snyder made his Batman a murderer, and the brutal trailers for Matt Reeves’ The Batman suggest it’ll have a similarly dark tone.
A comedic take helmed by James Gunn could be a refreshing change of pace. He could return to the nostalgic campness of the Adam West series – possibly even with an R-rating.