After three different outlets claimed the report as their exclusive and Warner Bros. reportedly confirmed those reports to more yesterday, DC Entertainment released a brief statement today on their DC Daily webseries verifying James Gunn's involvement with the forthcoming Suicide Squad sequel.
No new information was really provided, as DC Daily simply welcomed Gunn to the DC Universe and suggested (as reports already had) that his approach would differ from that of Suicide Squad writer/director David Ayer.
“It’s official that we have got a new member of the DC family: acclaimed writer/director James Gunn has been attached to write Suicide Squad 2,” said host Tiffany Smith. “Gunn is poised to bring a completely fresh take to the franchise after the first film was written and directed by David Ayer.”
Filmmaker Gavin O'Connor had been tapped to direct Suicide Squad 2, but according to Variety's Justin Kroll, pitched a script similar to the upcoming Birds of Prey movie, which got greenlit before Suicide Squad 2 could. O'Connor stepped away to take on his next project, Has Been. He will presumably still work with Warner Bros. on the sequel to Ben Affleck's The Accountant if that gets off the ground.
The word among the Hollywood press is that while Gunn has closed a deal to script a Suicide Squad sequel, talks to have him direct are ongoing for now. This non-sequel sequel will reportedly also star familiar characters like Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, and the Joker.
There is no word on whether recasting is needed for Gunn’s take on the DCEU franchise, but that seems somewhat unlikely given that Will Smith recently suggested that he is still open to a Deadshot follow-up.
If Gunn does sign on to direct Suicide Squad 2, it’ll show fans the director is moving on from his buzzed-about exit from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The director was fired by Disney after controversial tweets from Gunn surfaced from years past. The sudden decision prompted outrage from fans and MCU cast members who asked for Disney to reconsider, but recent reports only doubled down on Disney’s decision to axe Gunn.
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.