In a twist that was both obvious and surprising, today we learnt that Warner Brothers are courting actor-director extraordinaire Mel Gibson (two-time Oscar winner for Braveheart) to helm the sequel for the critically lauded, often clichéd DC flop Suicide Squad Sequel. Yes, this is both surprising and inevitable in equal amounts.
Firstly, it’s surprising that Suicide Squad is even getting a sequel considering how dire it was in it’s simplistic take on a disorganised group of villains saving the day but not surprising that David Ayer, who has been outspoken on the studios unwanted and damaging involvement, has been replaced for the Suicide Squad Sequel. More surprising is that they are courting Mel Gibson as his replacement.
Mel Gibson, while a fantastic actor and director, has seen a recent return to form after having fallen out of favour in Hollywood thanks to some edgy movies (see Apocolypto (2006) and The Passion of the Christ (2004)) as well as some anti-Semitism (remember that drunken outburst he had to apologise for?). He also had this to say about the recent Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) movie:
“It’s a piece of s–t, I’m not interested in the stuff. Do you know what the difference between real superheroes and comic-book superheroes is? Real superheroes didn’t wear spandex. So I don’t know. Spandex must cost a lot.” The 60-year-old director told Deadline at the Venice Film Festival.
So, as you can see, this makes little sense to court someone who is outspoken against not only the genre but the movie that was set to kick off the whole DC cinematic universe. Mel Gibson has most recently been nominated for an Oscar for his war movie Hacksaw Ridge (2017), which he directed. Aside from a Directing Oscar nomination, Hacksaw Ridge has a further five Oscar nominations, and has made $164 million worldwide so far.
The Hollywood Reporter has noted that sources have informed them Mel Gibson is familiarizing himself with the material. If true, then Warner Brothers have gotten further with convincing him then thought possible. Warner Brothers are also reportedly interested in other directors such as Daniel Espinosa.
While Suicide Squad was littered with production issues, re-shoots and poor editing (apparently), it still managed to gross $745 million worldwide, which could only be due to the hardcore fan bases dedication to the source material and ensuring the two Justice League movies are not scrapped.
However, David Ayer can’t be that disgruntled with Warner Brothers (and nor them him) considering he is now developing Gotham City Sirens, a project that was spearheaded by Margot Robbie and centres on the female villains of the DC Universe.
If true, then this would be a major coup for Warner Brothers. The DC Cinematic Universe needs a fresh injection of new ideas and those posed by Zack Snyder and David Ayer have failed to hit the mark with both movie audiences and die hard fans.
Mel Gibson, though not a fan of comic book movies, would signify a renewed belief in the series for fans and moviegoers as it would mean a move away from its current dire state. Fingers crossed this happens.