Where does The Suicide Squad fall on the DCEU timeline?

The Suicide Squad
(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

The Suicide Squad, a kind-of-sort-of soft-reboot/sequel to Suicide Squad, is finally in theaters and on HBO Max. If you've seen the movie, you might have some questions about where exactly it falls on the DCEU timeline – which, after all, doesn't have the clearest chronology ever.

We've combed through the DC movies to figure out when The Suicide Squad takes place, with a bit of help from a comment made by director James Gunn, too. Don't worry if you haven't seen the movie, either, as the following is totally spoiler-free.

If you want a deep dive into the DCEU's chronology, check out our guide to watching DC movies in order for the full rundown. 

Is The Suicide Squad a sequel?

Suicide Squad (2016)

(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

Yes and no. It acknowledges the events of the original Suicide Squad via Harley's friendship with Captain Boomerang and Rick Flag – as well as a quick exchange that establishes why Harley is back in prison. Apart from that, there aren't really any other references to the 2016 film, so you could easily watch it without being up to date on Task Force X's first incarnation.  

Where does The Suicide Squad sit on the DCEU timeline?

The Suicide Squad

(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

The DCEU timeline is a bit complicated. There aren't very many clear indicators of when exactly each individual film is set, though it is possible to figure out an order from clues within the movies.

The Suicide Squad is definitely set after the 2016 Suicide Squad, which takes place after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel. Considering it's mentioned that Bloodsport put Superman in the ICU with a Kryptonite bullet, we can place the film post-Justice League, too, as Superman would have to be back from the dead for this event to take place (remember, Zack Snyder's Justice League isn't canon, so doesn't count here).

Things get a bit more nebulous after that. Harley Quinn has clearly moved on from the Joker, which places The Suicide Squad after Birds of Prey. It's not entirely obvious whether that movie comes after Aquaman and Shazam!, but if we fall back on release order, Birds of Prey would follow both.

That means The Suicide Squad is the most recent entry to the DCEU, both chronologically and by release order. James Gunn has also said the film "takes place in the year it comes out" (H/T Screen Rant), so that's 2021. 

If you're all caught up on The Suicide Squad, check out our guide to 2021's upcoming movie release dates.

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.