James Gunn will soon get to debut his first DC project soon in The Suicide Squad, a project that came along at the perfect time. Gunn had just been let go from Disney and Marvel after old tweets resurfaced that caused a backlash for the director, but not too long after that Disney and Marvel reversed course and brought him back to finish out his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. During the time between though Gunn had accepted an offer from Warner Bros. and DC to direct The Suicide Squad, and on the most recent Hero Nation Podcast (via Deadline), producer Peter Safran discussed when and how he approached the pitch to Gunn after the Marvel firing.
"Shazam and Aquaman, the sequels to the first successful films in each of the franchises, we'd been in development on those for a while. Suicide Squad was a much more opportunistic opportunity," Safran said. "It came along because, truly, the Monday after James Gunn was fired by Marvel — on the Friday or the Thursday before — I ran into [Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman] Toby Emmerich at the Warner Bros. gym. I ran into him there and he said, 'Hey, tell James that we love him. We love James. Whatever he wants to do, we want to do it here — whether it's DC or otherwise, we want to work with him.'"
"And so I went to James, I talked about a couple different properties, but I really pitched him hard on The Suicide Squad because I thought that nobody puts together a disparate group of renegades and sends them on a mission better than James Gunn," Safran said.
If early reviews and impressions are anything to go by, Safran was quite right on that assertion, as The Suicide Squad launched on Rotten Tomatoes with a rare perfect score. It has come down since then...to 97%, so if that's any indication it seems DC has a hit on their hands, and fans can finally see what all the fuss is about next week.
The good news is there's even more to look forward to from this world, as spinning out of the film will be a Peacemaker series on HBO Max, with John Cena reprising his role and Gunn taking a hand in directing and writing.
The Suicide Squad hits HBO Max and theaters on August 6th, while Cena's Peacemaker series hits HBO Max early next year.