Is James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" already in trouble?

Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad 2016

The James Gunn directed Suicide Squad sequel has been issued with a worrying update.

James Gunn was announced as the writer of the follow up to Suicide Squad quite a while ago now. The 2016 film was considered a colossal disappointment by both fans of the comics and general audiences. It appeared to be a juggling act; when the film ended, there were many visible balls rolling away from director David Ayer's feet. Despite its perceived misfortune, many continued to clamour for a sequel, hoping that perhaps a different filmmaker at the helm could do the iconic characters justice. 

In wake of controversy, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was seemingly outcast from Marvel Studios and relieved of his duties overseeing the popular franchise. DC fans took saw this as an opportunity for Gunn to venture into other comics properties - this is exactly what he has done. His upcoming project now exists under the title The Suicide Squad and is currently estimated for release on August 6, 2021. Although this appears to be good news, the film has already been prematurely plagued with inconveniences. 

Empire recently reported that Will Smith - who played Deadshot in the first film - will not be cast in The Suicide Squad due to scheduling conflicts. This is definitely bad news, as many argued that Smith's and Margot Robbie's performances were the film's saving grace. It would be hard to disagree, with both charismatic performers doing their best to engage the audience despite such unsatisfying surrounding material. 

Smith's absence in the squad is sure to be felt by audiences. Sadly, his departure from the sequel raises even further questions; will Margot Robbie reprise her Harley Quinn role? She is currently rumoured to do so, but it's certainly no confirmation. She's due to reprise the character in the upcoming film Birds of Prey, but with Smith gone there's no way to securely predict her return in The Suicide Squad. Hopefully, she's announced soon because - in light of Smith's departure - the project really needs to raise some excitement. 

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