Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Suicide Squad.
What DCEU movies based upon the villains of DC Comics might James Gunn make to follow up The Suicide Squad? The filmmaker has claimed to have several ideas involving the publisher’s more obscure bad guys and rejected a chance to work on a Superman reboot in favor of continuing to work with characters like King Shark and Peacemaker. This begs the question of just what projects Gunn has in mind for the future.
While first breaking into film with horror-themed works at Troma Entertainment, superheroes and comic books were a major influence upon Gunn’s work even before he directed Guardians of the Galaxy. He wrote and produced an independent superhero comedy, The Specials, which Gunn credits as helping him secure his first big gigs as a studio screenwriter. Later, he wrote and directed the film Super, which offered a twisted take on what costumed vigilantes would be like in the real world.
Fans who follow Gunn on social media can attest to his love of superheroes and his knowledge of the classic characters from the comics. That love and knowledge was apparent in The Suicide Squad, which boasted the largest collection of DC Comics characters in any film to date and the first live-action appearances of some decidedly obscure supervillains. Gunn could easily follow up on the fates of the surviving Suicide Squad members with a sequel to The Suicide Squad, and he is already developing a spin-off series centered around Peacemaker. Yet the question remains as to what other DCEU projects Gunn might work on after he completes his obligations to Marvel Studios.
Spinning out of the 2005 Infinite Crisis event, Secret Six centered around a found family of six mercenary supervillains. Too twisted to be heroes yet to moral to be counted among the ranks of the Secret Society of Supervillains, the Six walked a razor’s edge across the seedy side of the DC Universe and retained the name Secret Six even after their ranks swelled to include more than six members. The team’s membership included a number of familiar villains like Bane, The Mad Hatter, Catman and the oft-portrayed Deadshot, but also introduced memorable villains such as the super-contortionist Rag Doll (whose mind was more twisted than his body), the banshee Jeannette, and Vandal Savage’s daughter Scandal Savage.
Secret Six was something of a spiritual successor to the original Suicide Squad comics that inspired The Suicide Squad and it would be easy to see Gunn building a similar team around Bloodsport, Ratcatcher 2, and the other villains who survived the events of The Suicide Squad. A Secret Six movie could also offer an explanation for what happened to Will Smith’s Deadshot during the events of The Suicide Squad. Additionally, a Secret Six movie might provide Gunn with another chance to work with Dave Bautista, who wanted a role in The Suicide Squad. The actor has expressed an interest in playing Bane in the DCEU, and would be an ideal candidate for the more comedic yet paternal version of Bane that Gail Simone wrote for Secret Six.
Many comic fans have been clamoring for Poison Ivy to be introduced into the DCEU since Harley Quinn’s introduction. Chief among them is actress Margot Robbie, who said that the relationship between Harley and Ivy was “one of my favorite aspects of the comics” and that she had been pestering people at Warner Bros. about bringing Pamela Isley into the DCEU, adding “I’m very keen to see a Harley-Poison Ivy relationship on screen. It’d be so fun.” Presuming Robbie is still down to clown and suit up as Harley Quinn once more, Gunn would be an ideal candidate for tackling the task of introducing Poison Ivy into the DCEU and establishing the romance between the two anti-heroines in all of its complicated glory.
The only thing preventing Will Smith’s Deadshot from returning in The Suicide Squad was poor timing. The Fresh Prince has reportedly been ready to return to the role of Floyd Lawton for some time, but scheduling conflicts made him unavailable during the tight window in which James Gunn needed to film The Suicide Squad before going on to other commitments himself. A solo film focused upon a returning Deadshot could allow the two to work together and be used to explain where the master assassin was during the events of The Suicide Squad.
Set on an Earth where Superman became a tyrant after the Joker arranged for him to have “one bad day” that brought about the death of Lois Lane and the destruction of Metropolis, Injustice has proven to be one of the most enduring alternate realities in the DC Comics’ multiverse. A live-action adaptation of Injustice might seem out-of-bounds for James Gunn, who is more famous for comedic works. Yet Gunn explored the theme of a good man driven to extremes in his original superhero film Super. Gunn also produced the movie Brightburn, which was based around a twisted parody of the Superman mythology.
While the base concept of Injustice, which is becoming an animated movie, is decidedly dark and Gunn has the experience as a horror movie director to fully explore the terrifying idea of a Superman without limits, the comic books by Tom Taylor balanced this element with a number of comedic scenes. Gunn is one of the few modern directors capable of handling both dark comedy and superhero action equally well. It would also be interesting to see Margot Robbie as Injustice‘s Harley Quinn, who makes an honest effort at reformation and becoming a member of the Justice League, while still remaining her usual chaotic self.
Running for 61 issues over the course of five years, the story of Hitman centered upon the misadventures of Tommy Monaghan; a Marine veteran and Gotham City native who became a contract killer and developed x-ray vision and telepathy after being attacked by an alien parasite. Written by The Boys co-creator Garth Ennis with art by John McCrea, Hitman became famous for its dark humor and twisted storylines such as the one where Tommy had to save the world from a zombie apocalypse plague released in the Gotham City Aquarium by killing all the infected animals and beating a baby seal to death with a spiked club. Add in a cast of colorful supporting characters including the demonic bartender Baytor and the perpetually drunk superhero Sixpack and you have an ideal project for James Gunn to work on in the wake of The Suicide Squad.