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The last slice of hype is building before The Suicide Squad hits theaters this weekend, with James Gunn’s first tour of duty as a DC Films director already drawing heavy praise from critics and an outpouring of love from the stars themselves.
As any MCU fan knows, Gunn’s comic book bona fides first came by way of a different band of misfits; a space-roving gang of Marvel marauders led by Peter Quill. And with filming slated to begin soon on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn’s definitely got no plans to set aside his role in Marvel’s evolving Phase 4 playground.
But that doesn’t mean his DC deal to direct The Suicide Squad is just a one-and-done lark. Though it came in the aftermath of a temporary publicity storm that briefly saw Gunn ousted from (and then welcomed back to) all things Disney, Gunn’s early foray into DC’s very different territory of Harley Quinn-flavored sass may only just be a warm-up.
Speaking recently with The Hollywood Reporter, DC Films president Walter Hamada said the union between Gunn and DC likely won’t dissolve once The Suicide Squad lights up the box office this weekend. In fact, it may be blossoming into a long-term creative partnership.
“Gunn is always welcome back, whatever he wants to do,” said Hamada. “He really has a vision and he’s a great partner with us. Whenever he wants to come back, we’re ready for him. He’ll be back. We have more stuff planned.”
Gunn himself seems to be hinting at the same possibility, reportedly teasing (via Heroic Hollywood) an Instagram fan with a coy (but encouraging) answer when asked about the likelihood of his getting involved with a Suicide Squad-themed TV spinoff. “Maaaaaaaaybe,” Gunn cheekily replied in an emoji-peppered social media post. Of course, Gunn already has his Peacemaker series coming to HBO Max.
Beyond all the vague enthusiasm from both Gunn and DC to keep the Suicide Squad romp going in some form or fashion, there’s no confirmation of what kind of projects fans might see next. Could The Suicide Squad get a sequel? Is there really something happening behind the scenes to make a TV spinoff happen?
Whatever the case, part of Gunn’s success seems to stem from the good will he nurtures with stars like Margot Robbie, who returns to The Suicide Squad to reprise her role as Harley Quinn from director David Ayer’s 2016 film. “If I read the script and didn’t know James Gunn was going to direct it, it would have been a straight-up ‘no,'” Robbie told THR. “I was like, ‘No one could pull this off.’ It’s so specific in its brand of comedy and violence. But it came out of his imagination. He knew exactly what to do with it.”
We’ll know exactly what to do in a couple of days when The Suicide Squad finally arrives. Gunn’s DC directing debut hits theaters and HBO Max beginning Aug. 6.