El Diablo: Jay Hernandez on Expanding the Big Screen DCU in Suicide Squad

Jay Hernandez plays El Diablo in David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad

The big-screen DC Comics universe is set to get a whole lot bigger when David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad arrives this August, bringing with it some lesser known comic book characters like Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo. Although the film will feature the more recent Chato Santana iteration of the character, El Diablo’s comic book lore stretches back nearly 50 years. Despite El Diablo’s long comic book history, Suicide Squad will offer the character’s first ever live-action appearance and Hernandez couldn’t be more thrilled.

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“As a lesser known member of the squad, there wasn’t as much anticipation and there wasn’t people saying, ‘You’re veering off doctrine.’” Hernandez laughs. “There’s a certain level of freedom that I thought was great.” 

The star, who has recently been appearing on Syfy‘s The Expanse, commends DC Comics fans for their response to Suicide Squad so far.

“There’s an audience of fans who are wildly excited about it,” he says. “They’re committed to the process and the making of the film as much as we are. DC fans want this to be a success. That’s powerful, man.”

If, where and when El Diablo might appear in the DCU after Suicide Squad remains to be seen, but Hernandez is excited about helping to build a massive cinematic universe.

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“Suicide Squad is the next step,” he says. “Everything starts somewhere and is going to end somewhere. I think this is that next step in the evolution of superhero movies… [There are] characters from the other movies that have come in onto our project. It’s interesting because, as a filmmaker and as a writer, you have to make it make sense. You have to find some way to infuse characters that aren’t really part of the narrative, but still have it make sense and have it not just be this weird piece where you’re setting up the other movie. It’s fluid and it has to feel right.”

Hernandez credits his director with connecting the DCU dots and says that David Ayer demonstrated a remarkable ability to get at the heart of each and every Suicide Squad team member.

“Everyone kind of discovered who we each were throughout this process,” says Hernandez. “As things would come out about certain individuals — stuff that [David] did not know — would just be so perfectly connected to the character they were playing. How did he know that before he ever heard this story? He’s f–g intuitive. Somehow he sees qualities in people that come from something and he knows how to use that to get at the character he’s trying to put out there.”

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Suicide Squad also stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Adam Beach as Slipknot and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. There’s also mystery roles for Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Raymond Olubowale, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack and Common.

Are you looking forward to meeting Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo? Let us know in the comments below!