James Gunn's The Suicide Squad is shaping up to be one of this summer's most exciting movies. It's a genre-blend, mixing superhero antics with the feel of a war movie, which Gunn tells SFX Magazine was partly down to his growing antipathy with the superhero genre.
"They're mostly boring to me right now!" he laughs. "I loved them at the beginning and there are still people trying to do different things [with them], so it's not a 100% rule, but a lot of them are boring. So I think it's about bringing in other elements from different genres."
The idea was to make something that stands apart from other superhero films, with the movie harkening back to the late '80s run of Suicide Squad comics penned by John Ostrander. That also meant looking to another genre for inspiration.
"I loved the idea of making a supervillain war caper film," explains Gunn. "Films like The Dirty Dozen and Where Eagles Dare, those are of different elements from the backdrop of war and the caper heist element, to the sneaking around, the high stakes, the adventure."
The Suicide Squad finds Task Force X dispatched to the jungle to destroy a Nazi-era laboratory hiding a terrible secret. "It gave me a great excuse to be able to create a film a genre I've loved since I was a little kid, and do it in a big way and not have to hold back," the filmmaker adds.
The Suicide Squad is a fresh start, neither a straight-up sequel nor a reboot of 2016's Suicide Squad. Will Smith and Jared Leto are both out as Deadshot and Joker respectively. Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and Viola Davis are back, reprising their roles. And Idris Elba plays a new lead, conflicted assassin Bloodsport.
You can check out our full interview with Gunn in the new issue of SFX Magazine, which features Masters of the Universe: Revelation on the cover, available from Wednesday, July 14. Subscribe here and never miss an issue.
For more from SFX, make sure to sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox. The Suicide Squad releases this August 5 in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously in the US. In the UK, The Suicide Squad arrives earlier to cinemas on July 30.