The Accountant director Gavin O'Connor will reportedly take over as writer and director of Suicide Squad 2.
O'Connor, who is still developing a sequel to his Ben Affleck-starring action movie at Warner Bros., is in talks to direct the follow-up to David Ayer's DC Comics adaptation, which Warner hopes to get in front of cameras in 2018, per Variety.
Critics took Harley Quinn's bat to the first Suicide Squad, but it did not stop David Ayer's supervillain team-up from earning nearly $750 million worldwide. It was the second such combination of financial windfall/critical bludgeoning DC and Warner Bros. had endured in 2016, the first being Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Critics were slightly kinder to The Accountant, which earned a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to 27% for Batman v Superman and 25% for Suicide Squad, respectively).
After Suicide Squad hit theaters and it became clear there would be more installments, Ayer bailed on Suicide Squad 2 to work on the spinoff Gotham City Sirens. Since then, Suicide Squad 2 has been one of Hollywood's most sought-after gigs, with names like Mel Gibson and Jaume Collet-Serra being considered.
Collet-Serra appeared to be the closest to actually getting a movie made, before dropping out back in July.
Recently, the word came down that Warner Bros. was making an origin movie featuring The Joker, which would star another actor rather than Jared Leto and be set outside of the continuity of the DC Extended Universe. After rumors started to circulate that meant the end for Leto, other reports countered that he was definitely coming back for Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens. The actor also confirmed recently that another Suicide Squad spinoff, this one centering on The Joker and Harley Quinn, is in development.
The production was said to be on Warner's fast-track, but Will Smith's busy schedule is reportedly causing some delays and conflicts.
O'Connor made his first big commercial success in 2004 with Miracle, a movie based on the true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team's expectations-shattering run for the gold. Since then, he has worked on films like Pride and Glory, Warrior, and Jane Got a Gun before delivering The Accountant, a movie that cost less than $50 million and went on to gross more than $150 million at the domestic box office.