James Gunn’s Suicide Squad is a reboot, not a sequel, and is definitely releasing before Guardians of the Galaxy 3

James Gunn The Suicide Squad
Image credit: Warner Bros.

Maybe we should pump the brakes just a little on the whole Guardians of the Galaxy 3 thing. Sure, we have every reason to celebrate James Gunn being re-hired by Marvel, but that doesn’t mean things are changing overnight. The director is still attached to a new Suicide Squad, one that is now apparently going to be a bit more of a shake-up than we first thought. Even for MCU fans, its schedule could push back any potential Guardians of the Galaxy 3 release date.

Speaking to JoBlo about Gunn’s DC project, simply titled The Suicide Squad, DC producer Peter Safran opened up about which movie out of Guardians 3 and Suicide Squad is a priority for the director, and what we could expect to see from the new Suicide Squad movie.

But, first up, the elephant in the room: Guardians of the Galaxy 3. That’s all been sorted out on both sides of the coin according to Safran, who reveals that: “Everybody knows on both sides that Suicide Squad is the priority today and he’ll finish that movie and then everybody knows that his next film will be Guardians.”

That puts a spanner in the works a little for anybody expecting Guardians 3 to shoot out of the blocks and accompany the rest of the new Marvel movies arriving early in Phase 4. The Suicide Squad has a tentative release date of August 2021 according to THR. That puts a Guardians of the Galaxy 3 release at 2022 at the absolute earliest.

But back to The Suicide Squad. That name should set alarm bells ringing for anyone anticipating a sequel. It’s (probably) not going to be one. Safran explains: “We don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 because it’s a total reboot, so it’s The Suicide Squad.” James Gunn is going to get a clean slate of sorts and, hopefully, carte blanche to pick his roster as he’s both on writing and directing duties.

Suicide Squad released in 2016 to mixed reviews, so any possible reboot puts it right up there with the quickest hit of the reset button in movie history. And I thought having three Peter Parkers in ten years was pushing it! Still, fans have every right to be excited by the return of the group of ne’er-do-wells, even if it means waiting a few more years for Guardians 3.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.