James Gunn says DC didn’t protect any characters in The Suicide Squad

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad
(Image credit: DC/Warner BRos)

The Suicide Squad, a sort-of reboot slash sequel for 2016’s much-maligned Suicide Squad, is heading our way in 2021. The full character roster was revealed at DC FanDome, and, before that, director James Gunn warned us not to "get too attached" to anyone. Now, he’s reiterated that no-one is safe in The Suicide Squad. Yes, really – even Harley Quinn might not make it out of the movie in one piece.

Someone asserted on Twitter that “Harley Quinn has franchise armor, pretty sure King Shark and Amanda Waller also have... DC has them in other things". Gunn seemingly took this to heart, replying: “No character was protected by DC. They gave me carte blanche to do what I wanted. That was one of the things we agreed to before I came to work for them. I wasn't looking for shock value but I wanted the audience to know anything could happen.”

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Now we’re a little bit worried. Gunn did add that "no one cannot return, obviously" when someone pointed out that it’s unlikely DC would let him kill Batman for good – seemingly a nod towards the fact he has soft-rebooted the Suicide Squad.

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He went on to talk about (spoiler alert!) Yondu’s death in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, explaining that: “There are angry fans no matter what choice you make. I still get hate messages for Yondu dying in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 & Boltie in SUPER. Yet their deaths were integral to the stories (and, for the record, I get a lot MORE messages from folks saying how deeply those deaths affected them).”

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As for characters returning from the grave, as is common in comic books, Gunn said: “I get sometimes you can bring back characters in a cool way. But usually, if a character dies, & it's a meaningful part of the story, the character should stay dead. So unless it's a flashback, Yondu will stay dead, as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, it ruins his sacrifice.”

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Discussing how actors react to being told their character is a goner, Gunn elaborated: “It really sucks having to tell an actor you're killing a character they play, especially if they played the character in another film, or if they didn't die in a first draft. Most of them do not want to die, but every one I've told has been mature about it.”

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Bad news for Yondu fans, but we’ll have to wait until 2021 to find out if our favourite characters will survive The Suicide Squad. Surely King Shark is too adorable to go? 

While you wait for The Suicide Squad to hit the big screen, check out our guide to how to watch DC movies in order so you can get caught up with a movie marathon.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.