2016's Suicide Squad was a massive hit but probably the nadir of the DC Extended Universe. There were some bright spots, but it was mostly an ugly, noisy, occasionally racist mess. (And the less said about Jared Leto's the Joker, the better.) But the sequel looks amazing, based on the few things we've seen so far. That's because David Ayer is out and James Gunn is in. Warner Bros. was able to scoop him up in that brief time after he was fired by Disney for crude jokes he made on Twitter (jokes it should be noted were there before he was even hired in the first place), but before he was brought back into the MCU to make a third Guardians of the Galaxy film.
As revealed at DC's FanDome event, the cast is even more massive than before. Only a handful of actors are returning from the first film: Oscar winner Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie and Jai Courtney. Sorry if you were a fan of Killer Croc or El Diablo. New additions include Idris Elba, Pete Davidson, John Cena and Peter Capaldi. Some of Gunn's repertory players are also on hand, including Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion and his brother Sean Gunn. He even got Taika Waititi to step over from the MCU for an undisclosed role. And that's just a small sampling of the cast.
Based on comments from the cast in the behind-the-scenes video (below), this will definitely be an R-rated endeavor, unless "exploding genitals" is something the MPA allows in PG-13 movies now. This means it's likely closer to the gleefully violent Birds of Prey, pushing the DCEU in a more adult direction. There might still be some growing pains, but it looks like they're figuring it out. Instead of a massive connected universe, it's better for the DC characters to play in their own sandbox and only occasionally cross over.
Check out the cast and character reveal below, as well as the FanDome sneak peek.
The Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 6, 2021.