Original Suicide Squad Director David Ayer Is Excited for James Gunn’s Movie

Suicide Squad director David Ayer “cannot wait to see” the James Gunn-directed The Suicide Squad, Ayer tweeted Friday after Gunn’s not-sequel unveiled its official logo and full cast ahead of a mid-September shooting start in Atlanta, Georgia.

Joining returning Suicide Squad stars Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag) and Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang) are franchise newcomers Idris Elba, Michael Rooker, Peter Capaldi, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn, David Dastmalchian, Storm Reid, Pete Davidson, Taika Waititi and John Cena.

Despite the retention of the four characters who first appeared in Ayer’s blockbuster that scored $746 million worldwide in 2016, Gunn’s film is believed to shy away from major ties to the DC Extended Universe entry that earned just 27% approval from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

The version of Suicide Squad released to theaters — reportedly edited by the same company that made the well-received teaser trailer — has been largely disowned by Ayer.

One year ago, on Twitter, Ayer wrote the released film was “very different from original assembly,” saying Harley’s arc in particular was “vastly simplified.” In a subsequent tweet, Ayer wrote modern filmmakers are “treated as figureheads and actually have very little say over the final product. We just don’t talk about it.”

When warning fans against a “scam” claiming to seek extras for “Suicide Squad 2,” Gunn issued a reminder his film is called The Suicide Squad. Gunn’s notice came after producer Peter Safran told ComicBook.com Gunn’s film is “not a sequel.”

“It’s called The Suicide Squad,” Safran said. “It’s not Suicide Squad 2. It is not a sequel. I will leave that alone but, yes, it’s called The Suicide Squad.”

Asked to clarify how connected The Suicide Squad is to its predecessor, Gunn told Entertainment Tonight terms like sequel or reboot are “all so narrow.”

“There are so many terms. It is what it is,” Gunn said. “You’ll see in two years when it comes out.”

Safran earlier suggested The Suicide Squad would focus on its own corner of the shared DC movie universe, acting as a piece of that whole without relying on wider ties in the same way James Wan’s Aquaman and David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! largely stood alone.

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“I think that is the goal,” Safran told ComicBook.com when promoting Shazam! “It is giving heroes their time to shine and not feeling like you have to shoehorn in some universal connection amongst them all. The studio’s been incredibly supportive and DC’s been supportive about saying, ‘Take the time that you need to introduce these characters in the right way and tell the stories that audiences want to see with these characters.’”

Warner Bros. has dated The Suicide Squad August 6, 2021.