A new trailer has dropped for James Gunn's comic book reboot The Suicide Squad – and it looks majestically insane. The Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker has temporarily made the jump from Marvel to DC, aiming to right the wrongs of the earlier Suicide Squad movie from 2016.
Naturally, there are lots of questions that we have – and don't get us started on the hilarious humanoid weasel. Come again? Scroll down and all will be explained (well, sort of).
1. Idris Elba's Bloodsport appears to anchor the narrative
Elite mercenary Robert DuBlois aka Bloodsport appears to be occupying the Deadshot (Will Smith) role from the earlier Suicide Squad movie. In short: he's a trained killer with rage issues, but will put everything on the line for his child Tyla (played by A Wrinkle In Time's Storm Reid). Brutality mixed with sentimentality – it turns out even the baddest bad guys are not all bad (we feel like we've used the word bad too many times).
Of course, this could just be a function of the way the trailer is edited together. This very much looks like an ensemble piece, and one can guarantee that the irreverent likes of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) aren't about to shrink into the background.
2. The non-human characters look poised to steal the show
James Gunn's brother Sean plays the bug-eyed, child-hating Weasel who causes the rest of the Squad to freak out in one of the trailer's funniest scenes. (No, he's not a cat, a werewolf or an Afghan Hound.) Sean Gunn is a dab hand with these kind of performances, having provided motion capture movement for Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in the Guardians movies.
Then there's the showstopping King Shark, voiced in monosyllabic style by none other than Sylvester Stallone. (The action icon cameoed in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.) As proven in the Guardians films, James Gunn can elicit a lot of pathos and humour from characters who say very little. Could King Shark be the new Groot?
3. It may not be one for the kiddies
An earlier trailer featured an extended riff from John Cena's Peacemaker about unlikely objects to be found on a tropical island. He's clearly got a filthy mind, which may well push The Suicide Squad beyond the family-friendly parameters of Guardians of the Galaxy into ribald, grown-up territory, His interpretation of the word 'starfish' (used to define the beastie that the Squad will be fighting) is one for the books. Improvised or not scripted? Cena is such a good deadpan comedian, it's hard to tell.
4. The island of Corto Maltese plays a key role
This isolated spit of rock off the coast of South America has woven its way in and out of DC comic book folklore. It first appeared in 1986's The Dark Knight Returns #3, where it was revealed to be riven by civil war. The island was also referenced in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie. Putting the pieces together, it appears that team leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), co-ordinating with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) takes the Squad to the enemy-infested Corto Maltese to apprehend the aforementioned starfish.
When they arrive, they've got dictator Silvio Luna (Juan Diego Botto), pictured below, to contend with. But we're more curious about the presence of The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), pictured to Luna's left – we know that The Thinker is co-opted into the Squad's mission, as seen in the previous trailers, so what particular role is he occupying here? Does the Squad have to travel to the island to apprehend him instead?
5. There may be a metahuman connection with Batman vs Superman
At one point, Tyla watches a TV screen, awestruck that her father Robert is engaged in the battle with the starfish. However, a freeze-frame reveals a news report reference to metahumans (see the shot below); in other words, individuals, either human or non-human, that are gifted with extraordinary abilities. It's a broad term that's analogous with many different characters in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) franchise.
In Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), files owned by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) were revealed to contain information on metahumans Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Indeed, it was Luthor who coined the term. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is often classed in the metahuman category. These characters later turned up in the theatrical cut of Justice League (2017) and the Snyder Cut of the same film (2021), and have also led their own solo movies (The Flash film is coming in 2022).
The use of the metahumans terminology has been diminished within the DCEU in recent years, even though it's implicitly suggested through the physical presence of said characters. Indeed, in recent years, there's been more of an emphasis on frothy, funny standalone DCEU movies (Shazam! et al), which have pivoted away from ponderous, overwrought mythology, metahumans included.
By reinstating the term, could The Suicide Squad be forging important connections with the earlier events of Batman vs Superman? It's been speculated that, in the movie, dictator Silvio Luna is experimenting with political prisoners, transforming them into metahumans. (This might also tie into the use of 'political unrest' on the news report.) However, this is all hearsay at this stage. No doubt answers will be forthcoming soon.