Selecting a Squad: James Gunn on The Suicide Squad’s Colorful Lineup
Who chooses which characters will live and which will end up a twitchy pile of gore? That would be writer and director James Gunn, the wonderfully warped mind behind both The Suicide Squad and the Guardians of the Galaxy franchises. A longtime fan of the Suicide Squad comic, Gunn knew that directing a Suicide Squad movie came with the opportunity to dig deeply into the well of lesser-known DC super-villains, but that the opportunity came with a cost—not all of them would survive.
“There were a certain number of characters that I knew were going to die from the time I put them in the movie,” Gunn explains. “When I first pitched this idea to Warner Bros., I went into (Warner Bros. Film Chairman) Toby Emmerich’s office and I had made copies or made photos of every single character, and I had them all on a wall because it’s a lot of characters. To throw, like, Mongal at Toby Emmerich can be really confusing. Going through them in that way, I knew some characters were going to die early and then other characters died as I told the story.”