DC Films scored an unlikely hit with Suicide Squad, despite some massive backlash from fans and critics, alike. That success ($745 million worldwide) would make one think that Warner Bros./DC's plan for a sequel would be easy to rollout - but so far, that's been anything but the case.Suicide Squad director David Ayer has moved on to projects like Netflix's Will Smith fantasy cop flick Bright, as well as the Gotham City Sirens spinoff film starring Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra had stepped up to replace Ayer, but as Deadline now reports, Collet-Serra has dropped out of directing Suicide Squad 2 - aka Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay. Mel Gibson was also courted for the job, but ultimately passed on it.
Now word yet about who DC/WB is looking at to replace Collet-Serra. The studio has reportedly been looking to get production underway on Suicide Squad 2 sooner before later; as Suicide Squad star Joel Kinnaman told reporters recenty, "As far as I know they're writing the script and I think the plan is to shoot it sometime in 2018, but that could change. I think I'll definitely come back for it."
That kind of timetable means that we should see a new director named quite soon - though this loss is just one setback that DC Films is facing at the moment.
Collet-Serra has jumped onboard Disney's Jungle Cruise, the action-adventure franchise led by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. That teaming comes as double-punch setback for Warner Bros. and DC Films, as Johnson recently dropped out the studio's Shazam! movie, where he was slated to play the villain Black Adam (Johnson still has future plans for a Black Adam solo film with the studio).
In addition to Suicide Squad, and Shazam, DC/WB's upcoming Batman solo film has had a string of production turbulence: star Ben Affleck dropped out of directing the project earlier this year, amidst rumors that he was unhappy with his role in the DC Extended Universe. Affleck had to go onstage at Comic-Con 2017 to basically reaffirm, publicly, that he loves being Batman, while director Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) has been brought in to direct.
Then there's DC/WB's Justice League team-up film. Director Zack Snyder had to drop out of the film during post-production, in order to deal with a personal loss; Avengers director Joss Whedon has been brought in to handle reshoots on the Justice League; however, reports have come out that those reshoots have been more complicated and costly than the studio expected.
While this all may seem like bad omens for the already-rocky DC Extended Universe, it should be remembered that Marvel Studios faced similar turbulence in the transition between its Phase 1 and Phase 2 eras (director dropouts, contract issues, scheduling problems), before learning a formula that worked. With the success of Wonder Woman, there is a blueprint that works - hopefully DC/WB can follow it.