Veteran DC Films producer Charles Roven has doubled down on Warner Bros.' commitment to restoring a more traditional theatrical window in 2022, saying that he would have preferred a theatrical-only release for The Suicide Squad. When the studio announced that they would respond to the crisis in the worldwide theatrical marketplace by releasing movies both in theaters and on HBO Max, the WarnerMedia streaming platform that launched in May of 2020. HBO Max will continue to be a key part of the DC film and TV release strategy going forward, with rumors that projects like Blue Beetle and numerous live-action and animated TV projects heading there in the coming months and years.
But when pressed, Roven would prefer an old-fashioned release model for James Gunn's DC debut. That's a little ironic, since the spinoff is going to be an HBO Max-exclusive TV series, but it's easy enough to understand from the perspective of somebody with money in the game.
"Of course I’m going to say that I would obviously prefer it was just a theatrical window, because I think it’s one of the most anticipated movies of the year," Roven told the Los Angeles Times. "The good news is, they limited it to 2021."
“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement back in December. “No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021.”
As for The Suicide Squad, the movie's cast includes Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Steve Agee as John Economos and King Shark (on-set reference), sharing the role with Sylvester Stallone's voice, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, John Cena as Peacemaker, Michael Rooker as Savant, Flula Borg as Javelin, Peter Capaldi as Thinker, Nathan Fillion as Tok, Mayling Ng as Mongal, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Sean Gunn as Weasel, Joaquin Cosio as General Mateo Suarez, Juan Diego Botto as Luna, Storm Reid as Tyla, Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt, and Taika Waititi in an unknown role.
The movie will be in theaters and on HBO Max in August.