Before Warner Bros. managed to catch James Gunn on the rebound, Warrior and The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor was attached to direct the Suicide Squad sequel. Widespread belief at the time was that his script too closely resembled Birds of Prey, and his commitment to the Ben Affleck drama The Way Back interfered. But now, via The Playlist, O’Connor reveals another reason: he didn’t want to make it primarily a comedy.
“What happened was during the latter part of writing the script there was a whole regime change at DC, and when that happened, they wanted it to be a comedy,” he recalled. “And I’m like, ‘I’m not writing a comedy.‘ I mean, it [was] fun, but it’s not a yuk-fest. And the new regime wanted a different movie than I was writing.” For O’Connor, it felt like a bait and switch. “I wrote a deal to write a script, and they knew what I was writing. At that level, with those kinds of movies, with that budget, no one’s just going off and writing something without walking them through what the movie’s gonna be,” the director said. “And everyone was cool with it.”
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Enter Gunn, who delivered a reboot heavy on jokes. It didn’t succeed at the box office to the extent that WB and DC hoped. But it’s hard to pin that entirely on the tone. The sequel also lacked the star power of Will Smith, and the Batman/Joker cameos that undoubtedly helped David Ayer’s predecessor. Plus the whole COVID-19 pandemic kept some audiences away from theaters.
Still, it’s hard not to wonder what might have been. Would you want to see a Gavin O’Connor Suicide Squad? Let us know in comments.
Recommended Reading: Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Trial by Fire
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