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WIRE Buzz: Taika Waititi eyes Suicide Squad role; Wrinkles the Clown creeps to theaters, more

By Benjamin Bullard
Suicide Squad 2016 poster

Taika Waititi may have to get Korg to put down that game controller for a minute and tell Thor to find a new Fortnite buddy, because the versatile actor, director, and producer is about to have his hands full.

Deadline is reporting that Waititi, who’s already prepping the rollout of his history-bending Jojo Rabbit film this fall while heading up Marvel’s upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, is in talks to appear in James Gunn’s still-untitled Suicide Squad movie for DC and Warner Bros. 

There’s no word on what kind of role the Thor: Ragnarok director would take on in Gunn’s diversion into DC territory, nor whether it’s a major part — or perhaps a fun walk-on after the fashion of Waititi’s voice-acting work as Korg for Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. Deadline reports that a table reading for Suicide Squad is set for Sept. 11, ahead of the film’s Sept. 23 production start date, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we learn more.

The Suicide Squad sequel already has locked down familiar faces like Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), and Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), alongside SS newcomers like Idris Elba (who’s reportedly playing an all-new character), David Dastmalchian (Polka-Dot Man), Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher), Steve Agee (King Shark), and more.

Gunn's Suicide Squad sequel is slated to release on Aug. 6 of 2021 — just three months before Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder hammers into theaters.

Just what we need: more horrifying clowns with a seemingly supernatural gift for cramming themselves into the sort of dark places we just knew they couldn’t be. 

Variety reports that Magnolia Pictures’ Magnet Releasing has picked up the theater rights to Wrinkles the Clown, a horror docu-feature that merges fictional It-style clown creeps with the intimate, creepypasta-style urban legend scares of documentary viral footage.

Wrinkles is a real clown (really — he’s a real guy in his late '60s who dons a clown suit and makeup) who for the past several years has been turning up at South Florida homes, public spaces, and events at the behest of parents who want to scare some sense (or even just some get-it-on-film terror) into their misbehaving kids. You’re reading that right: People have been paying this clown to frighten the bejeezus out of their kids — and, to no one’s surprise, it evidently works. 

Wrinkles the Clown

There’s a definite Pennywise vibe to Wrinkles’ sunken-eyed mask and paunchy, disheveled outfit, and the movie follows the real-life phenomenon that took off after a series of hidden-cam videos of Wrinkles doing insanely scary things (like this) began going viral in 2014. Emmy-nominated director Michael Beach Nichols "has concocted an incredibly unsettling film evocative of urban legend classics like Slenderman and The Blair Witch Project," said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “From Pennywise to the Joker, creepy clowns have terrified people for decades. Wrinkles the Clown gives them a reason to fear.”

Produced by Topic Studios, Wrinkles the Clown is set to premiere in Austin, Texas, at Fantastic Fest next month before opening in theaters on Oct. 4.

Finally, get ready for more big-name mobile game tie-ins like the popular Game of Thrones: Conquest and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Warner Bros. is going all in on mobile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, launching a new game development team that’ll churn out free-to-play titles from a just-announced new studio in San Diego. 

Once it opens, the new office will expand Warner Bros.’ investment in gaming even further (it already operates studios in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Montreal, and owns Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm), tapping into a mobile gaming industry that’s already scraped $30 billion in revenue just in the first half of 2019, according to the report.

In addition to Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, Warner Bros. has plenty more big names to work with as it targets Android and iOS devices — including Batman and the rest of the DC Comics universe, LEGO, Looney Tunes, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.