James Gunn Reveals The Suicide Squad Scene Warner Bros Worried Went “Too Far”
The Suicide Squad director James Gunn reveals the sequence that Warner Bros. executives worried went "too far," saying the controversial scene pushes to "the edge of where we could go with that." Spoilers for The Suicide Squad. When Task Force X washes ashore on the island Corto Maltese with orders to infiltrate Jotunheim and destroy all traces of Project Starfish, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) sends the squad on a side mission to rescue the captured Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). Under orders from Waller to free Flag and terminate his captors "with extreme prejudice," elite killers Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Peacemaker (John Cena) make a show of mercilessly eliminating the enemy with knives, guns, darts, flamethrowers, and exploding compression bullets.
The twist: Flag's "captors" aren't the enemy, but his saviors. They're the Maltese Resistance led by Sol Soria (Alice Braga), whose rebel freedom fighters oppose the tyrannical rule of reigning dictator Silvio Luna (Juan Diego Botto) and the ruthless General Mateo Suarez (Joaquín Cosío). The Suicide Squad killed the good guys.
"I did [get some pushback]. The stuff with Bloodsport and Peacemaker, I had a lot of reservations about," Gunn told Variety. "I loved the sequence. It's funny and it goes to the heart of what the movie is about, for me, in terms of Bloodsport's journey of starting to learn that being a man and being a leader is not synonymous with being a toxic man, and that the path forward to true manhood is through vulnerability. That [sequence] is a big part of that — just a big dick swinging contest between two people."
After screening The Suicide Squad in a theater with an audience for the first time, Gunn said, "Watching it the other night in the theater, that's the one place I go, holy shit, we pushed it far — like, it's at the edge of where we could go with that. There was some Warner Bros. execs who brought up, 'Is this the one place that we go too far?'"
"I think that's when I added, you know, Amanda Waller explicitly tells them to go into the camp and kill everyone," Gunn said, referring to Waller giving Bloodsport and Peacemaker permission to "kill anyone you see." "So they are following her orders, and she is in a way the antagonist in the film. So anyway, yeah, I had reservations about that."
Warner Bros. and DC Films gave Gunn complete creative freedom to make his exact pitch for The Suicide Squad, which producer Peter Safran called "exactly his movie."
"Literally, to the characters involved, who died, who the adversaries were, nothing changed. James knew exactly the movie that he wanted to make, and that is the movie that he delivered," Safran previously told Deadline. "I think that's why people have responded so beautifully to it, both critics and audiences alike. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be inside the head of James Gunn, this movie answers that question for you because it is the unfiltered vision of what he wanted to do. It's exactly his movie."