Apart from Guardians Of The Galaxy, Suicide Squad has to be the most obscure comic book to get the silver screen treatment – Blade notwithstanding.
Oh, we know that comic book geeks know what it is. We're comic book geeks after all. But if you went up to 10 people in the street and asked them if they'd ever heard of DC's crims-turned-heroes-but-not-really comic book, you'd probably get a lot of blank stares. They may not even be aware of who the Suicide Squad is, even if they've seen a nod to it in Arrow.
If you fall into that category, think of the Suicide Squad as the anti-Avengers. Here's a group of super-powered folk who aren't fighting the good fight for altruistic reasons. Rather, they're a bunch of convicted criminals who are prepared to play nice because they'll get a reduced sentence and if they decide to go off the reservation, a government-issued wrist-band packed with explosives will ensure they lose a limb.
This comic book was made for fans of the medium; us nerds don't need to be told who the likes of Captain Boomerang, Deadshot and Slipknot are – we read about them in The Flash, Batman and Firestorm respectively. This is probably why the movie includes the likes of The Joker and (possibly!) Batman to get the mainstream on board. Well, that and the fact that shoving Will Smith, Ben Affleck and Jared Leto in your movie never hurts, right?
So here's what we know so far about the Suicide Squad film. And no, Arrow fans, we don't know if this movie has put the kibosh on any SS-themed storylines your beloved series may have been entertaining...
What You Need to Know
The Suicide Squad comic book detailed the misadventures of a bunch of DC's B-List super villains who went to work for the government for a reduction in their jail sentences. Since the stakes facing them were higher than normal for the medium – that would be: death – the comic book garnered a decent readership and villains like Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang came over like hard-bitten criminals rather than lame second-tier crims.
The team was quarterbacked by a heartless sod named Amanda Waller – nicknamed 'The Wall' for her cold-blooded demeanour – who had no compunction about sending convicted criminals into situations where they could get killed, but the personalities of her crack squad kept her on her toes.
Suicide Squad was recently alluded to in the last season of Arrow, but we doubt it has much to do with the forthcoming film.
Who Has Been Cast in Suicide Squad?
At the time of this writing, here's what we know: Jared Leto is playing the Joker, Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney (from Jack Reacher and the new Terminator flick) is Captain Boomerang and Will Smith is playing Deadshot. Miss Model of the Moment Cara Delevigne will play Enchantress, Karen Fukuhara takes ups Katana's role, Joel Kinnaman is Rick Flagg, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is Killer Croc, and Jay Hernandez plays El Diablo.
The Joker, incidentally, was never a member of the Suicide Squad. It's likely his inclusion has something to do with box office draw rather than an adherence to the source material. After all, how much buzz is likely to be generated by the likes of The Enchantress or Killer Croc on their own?
Tom Hardy – he of recent Mad Max Glory – was originally tipped to play Rick Flagg, but he dropped out for unspecified reasons (rumored to be related to the size of his role in the film). That part has since been picked up by Joel Kinnaman – from The Killing and the recent reboot of Robocop – and we'll watch him in anything.
We also know that Ben Affleck will likely be making an appearance as Batman in some capcity; not only has there been revealing footage of the Batmobile posted by an erstwhile Instagrammer, Affleck is listed in the cast over on IMDB.
What we don't know is how Will Smith as Deadshot will go over. In the comics, Deadshot is a fish-eyed sociopath with about as much of a sense of humour as a corpse. Will Smith has made his name playing cocksure, charismatic protagonists who are about as far removed from Floyd Lawton as you can get with a Low-Orbit Ion Cannon. That's not to say The Fresh Prince of Bel Air couldn't pull it off – anyone who's seen him in either Six Degrees Of Separation or Seven Pounds knows that Smith can do stoic with the best of them. We're just hoping he's been hired as an actor rather than a movie star this time round.
So Can I See a Trailer?
Not yet, and we're not really sure when it will drop. We know, however, that it'll probably reveal that Batman and his Batmobile are in it – if not, why allow by-standers to post Instagram images of the aforementioned vehicle online?
So What's the Plot?
No official word yet, beyond its official blurb:
A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.
Yep. Pretty much guessed that.
We do however know it's being penned by John Ostrander and David Ayer – who also happens to be directing the film. The former wrote a lot of the issues of Suicide Squad comic book – as well as the Deadshot four-issue mini-series – so he probably knows the terrain. Ayer for his part wrote Training Day as well as writing and directing End Of Watch, Harsh Times and Fury so we expect a decent amount of grit from Suicide Squad.
Expect the plot to loosely follow that outline above and (if DC has any sense as to the direction of its cinematic universe) will likely tie in with Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice in some capacity.
When is the Suicide Squad Release Date?
Suicide Squad is set to hit cinemas on August 5th, 2016. That'll give you enough time to lay to rest any fears you may have had over "Batfleck", or at least to have come to terms with former Mr Jennifer Lopez's portrayal ahead of Suicide Squad's release.