Comic book fans are reeling from the news that James Gunn is set to write, and possibly direct, Suicide Squad 2. And now, we have a bit more clarity as to why his predecessor left the film.
According to Variety's Justin Kroll, Gavin O'Connor left his role of directing and co-writing Suicide Squad 2 for a very specific reason - namely, that his story was too similar to Christina Hodson's Birds of Prey script.
On the Gavin O'Connor front in relation to SS2, hearing the story he had for the sequel ended up almost being identical to the BIRDS OF PREY story and when that film was given the go ahead to go before SQUAD 2, O'Connor grew frustrated and fell off project to do HAS BEEN instead— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) October 9, 2018
While details about Birds of Prey are still relatively slim, we do know that the film will place an all-female ensemble of characters - Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Cassandra Cain - against the villainous Black Mask. Granted, even less is currently known about O'Connor's Squad 2, but the notion that Birds of Prey covers similar territory is certainly interesting.
To an extent, this news of O'Connor's exit - and Gunn's arrival - comes as a bit of a surprise, as previous co-writer Todd Stashwick had hinted just weeks ago that the film's script had been turned in, and was expected to be a very comic-accurate approach.
"We sat down, he started picking my brain." Stashwick said of O'Connor in a previous interview. "And he could see that this is something that I have a deep passion for, and that I understand genre. That’s kind of what I like to write in. And then once we started bouncing ideas back and forth… There’s a third writer, David Bar Katz, the three of us are writing it together. And so once we started talking and just bouncing ideas back and forth, he was like ‘This is the team. This is who I want for this.’"
“I wouldn’t know where to start writing a Marvel film, because that’s not my forte, that’s not my passion." Stashwick continued. "I’m much more of a DC guy. And so these are the characters I read about, these are the films that I delight in. I love the Marvel films, but the opportunity to be invited into a project that I’m passionate about is yet another bucket list that I get to check off... I really can not say anything [about where we are with the script]. I can say that we have been working hard to craft something that we're really proud of, and a story we want to tell."
What do you think of the reported reason behind O'Connor's Suicide Squad 2 exit? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Upcoming DC Extended Universe films include Aquaman on December 21st, Shazam on April 5, 2019, Wonder Woman 1984 on November 1, 2019, and Birds of Prey on February 7, 2020.