Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: Mel Gibson is in early talks to direct Suicide Squad 2. Love it or hate it, Gibson’s Hollywood comeback continues to gain momentum. Following a few years of being shunned by the film community for his off-screen behavior (look it up, kids), Gibson is now back in the spotlight in a big way, with his latest film, Hacksaw Ridge, nominated for six Academy Awards. That recognition seems to have been enough to give studios the greenlight to bring Gibson into the fold once more, and says Warner Bros. is in discussions with him about entering the DC Extended Universe as a director.
WB is also apparently considering Daniel Espinosa (the Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds thriller Safe House, the upcoming sci-fi film Life) as a potential director, but it appears Gibson is their top choice. Gibson is a guy who’s capable of capturing (and often even fetishizing) extreme ugliness on screen, so as I try to separate the director from his disturbing personal flaws, it actually seems like he might be a decent fit for this grimy corner of the DCEU.
This video from a Q&A held yesterday shows Gibson talking about the possibility of directing (apologies for the bad audio quality).
When asked if he was getting close to a deal, or if his discussions with the studio were more akin to a first date, Gibson responded, "It's kind of a first date. You know, it's kind of fun talking to these guys...even if I don't end up directing Suicide Squad ...just being in a room and talking about the story and coming up with ideas, it kind of gets you jazzed, and that's what it's about."
David Ayer directed the first Suicide Squad, which famously had well-publicized production problems, including extensive reshoots and reports of multiple cuts of the movie being circulated within the studio - including at least one edit made by the advertising company that cut the film’s popular trailer. The final movie felt sloppy and rushed (Ayer had only six weeks to write the script), but still banked over $745 million worldwide, partially due to its star-studded cast of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Ben Affleck, and the mystery of what Jared Leto would do with his take on The Joker. Ayer has since moved on to develop Gotham City Sirens, which will reunite him with Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn and centers on female villains in the DCEU. Hopefully the studio gives whoever ends up directing Suicide Squad 2 the proper time and freedom to make a movie that doesn’t feel as compromised as the original.
Images: Lionsgate Premiere/Warner Bros.