Warning: mild spoilers from Suicide Squad follow.
Going into Suicide Squad's theatrical release, everyone was getting hyped about the Joker's return to the big screen and, even more so, Harley Quinn's big screen debut. The buzz lead to news of a Harley Quinn spinoff film being developed. However, the real conversation should have been about Will Smith's Deadshot, an antihero character who truly deserves their own movie.
Floyd Lawton more or less stole the show in Suicide Squad. Smith's portrayal of the character modernized him a bit by comparison to the comics, with "Phil Jackson," jokes and other witty remarks to his fellow Squad members but this made him the most fun part of the film.
Going deeper than the comments, jokes, and fantastic acting, Deadshot had the most interesting and compelling backstory of all the characters introduced in Suicide Squad. Sure, Harley had her Dr. Quinzel story, Katana has the story with Maseo and, coming the closest, El Diablo lost his family before the movie started but none seem to have the potential to entertain with their damaged pasts like Floyd Lawton.
It's not just Will Smith's portrayal which made Deadshot so interesting. The character is just one which audiences are drawn to. When he was introduced to live-action on Arrow, Mike Rowe's portrayal made the deeply conflicted character a fan-favorite until he was blown up and ruled out for TV following the announcement of the Suicide Squad movie.
"I imagine that them pulling the trigger on doing the film has maybe a little bit to do with what we’re doing on TV and proving that fans are drawn to it," said Arrow's Deadshot actor Rowe in an interview with ComicBook.com. "It is a compliment to say 'Let’s go to the biggest level we can with it.' Definitely a pat on the back there."
Deadshot, in the comics, has been a part of some of the most heartbreaking but thrilling stories. Featured in Suicide Squad comics and some of his own, he is a man who acts as though he has nothing to lose, casting a death wish upon himself while serving as a gun for hire. Some of John Ostrander's work on the character has taken Deadshot to his darkest depths with stories of revenge and character development. "It was fun to treat Deadshot as a real person," Smith tells us.
So, what do we want to see in a Deadshot movie? How about a heist?!
Let's bust the character out of jail and promise him his daughter and freedom if he helps a criminal kingpin like the Riddler on an operation? It's similar to the events of Suicide Squad with an entertaining villain's twist. Toss in the key Gotham City villain, planting the seed for later (or earlier) Batman stories, and you have a character who has been thoroughly established in Suicide Squad earning more depth while telling a compelling (and more importantly - fun) story. The movie can include Batman but absolutely doesn't need to.
The Riddler was already acknowledged as existing the world of DC Films when his signature question mark appeared by way of Easter Egg in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The character could easily manipulate Deadshot into helping him - busting him out of jail, destroying Amanda Waller's chip in his neck, and threatening the safety of his daughter while also promising his (and her) freedom should Deadshot deliver. To add to it, Deadshot has a relationship with his ex-wife to repair or at least manage. Pull some of the themes and moments from the Dark Knight, Dark City books and we'll have one hell of a ride with Deadshot, taking Batman's place.
So, now that we're all excited about this Deadshot/Riddler movie, how do we make this happen?
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters.