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SYFY WIRE The Suicide Squad

From casting secrets to Easter eggs, 8 things we learned from James Gunn's 'The Suicide Squad' tweet-a-long

By Matthew Jackson
The Suicide Squad Still

It's been a few weeks since The Suicide Squad exploded into both theaters and homes via HBO Max, and now that fans have had a while to absorb the anithero adventure, writer/director James Gunn is taking some time to talk a little more about how the film came together.

Gunn was part of an organized watch party event for the film on Monday night, and spent the entirety of The Suicide Squad's wild runtime taking questions from fans, offering up tidbits about the making of the movie, and revealing a few secrets about how the film came together.

So, if you love The Suicide Squad and you missed out on Gunn's comments, here are some of the best things we learned.

Oh, and it should probably go without saying, but there are SPOILERS for the film ahead.

King Shark, the adorable shark-man who somehow won our hearts despite wanting to eat basically any human that got close to his mouth, is one The Suicide Squad's great scene stealers thanks in no small part to his voice, provided by film legend Sylvester Stallone. According to Gunn, Stallone was always in his head when he was putting the character together, but other options were explored.

When it came to Polka Dot Man, one of the most emotionally complex members of the Squad, Gunn realized very early on that he wanted David Dastmalchian to play the role, thanks to one melancholy laugh line in the briefing room scene.

Early on in the film, King Shark is attempting to look smart by reading a book in front of other members of the Squad...which he's memorably holding upside down. Eagle-eyed viewers will note that the book is William James' psychology and philosophy text Varieties of Religious Experience, and there's a reason Gunn chose it.

When it comes to the character of The Thinker, played by Doctor Who icon Peter Capaldi, DC Comics fans might notice that he comes with a brand-new name: Gaius Grieves. According to Gunn, he was directly inspired by the New 52 incarnation of The Thinker, who's never given an official name in the comics. Gunn chose the name because the character design "just looks like a Gaius Grieves to me."

For the scene in which the surviving Squad members infiltrate Corto Maltese and try to blend in with the locals at a nightclub, Gunn noted that he allowed his stars to actually do a little random wardrobe selection, much as the characters do in the film.

One of the film's most memorable sequences comes when Harley Quinn decides to give her captors the slip in Corto Maltese, and ends up slaughtering every one of them in a dazzling musical sequence that features cartoon-like hallucinations to go along with the carnage. According to Gunn, the cartoonish nature of the sequence almost included a special guest star.

For the scene in which the Squad plans their final approach on Jotunheim with a rather intense conversation, Gunn gave star Margot Robbie a new line to deliver as Harley Quinn paced dramatically around her teammates. It ended up being one of the biggest laugh moments in the movie.

It's now pretty common knowledge that Gunn's adventures with these characters don't end with The Suicide Squad. He's also been at work for a while on Peacemaker, an HBO Max series starring John Cena that will pick up on the further adventures of his character as a violent crusader for peace. That doesn't mean Peacemaker's the only character he's got spinoff ideas for, though…

The Suicide Squad will remain streaming on HBO Max through September 5, giving you a little less than a week to watch it one more time (or several).