If you were wondering whether The Suicide Squad is a sequel or a reboot to the 2016 Suicide Squad film, the answer is "yes." It's honestly a bit of both. It's a new direction for the property with a different tone and James Gunn at the helm. You don't even need to see the first movie for this one to make sense. That said, Gunn was clear about wanting his take on the popular villains to exist in the same universe as Ayer's previous iteration, rather than going the Elseworlds route, similar 2019's Joker solo film.
While speaking to ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis in an exclusive interview, Gunn explained that he considered making The Suicide Squad its own thing, completely detached from the first film or any other previous DC movies. However, the appeal of working with actors like Margot Robbie and Viola Davis was part of the reason Gunn wanted to make the movie in the first place.
"Well, listen, it isn't very different with the Guardians movies," Gunn said. "I mean, I've made two Guardians movies that were completely outside of the rest of the stories at the time. I never really had to adhere to anything except where I created the Infinity Stones, so that was it. It isn't that different, but the truth is that David Ayer did a remarkable job, both working with and casting a few of these actors. I love the character of Harley Quinn. I do not think that there is an actor alive that can do a better job than Margot Robbie. Did I consider it? Yeah, I definitely considered just doing a Joker [type movie] with it, but I liked the idea of using some of these fantastic talents that were in the first movie and moving ahead with them. I love Joel [Kinnaman]. I love Viola [Davis]. I mean, who's better than that? And Jai [Courtney]. I love all of those actors, so I wanted to work with them."
Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, has no connection to anything else DC has done. It sounds like The Suicide Squad won't be helping to further build the DCEU going forward, but it will contain characters that already existed in the films.
Of course, that means that the characters that die in The Suicide Squad are definitely dead in the DCEU, so the chances of seeing them again in the future are probably pretty slim.
The Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters and HBO Max on August 5th.