Suicide Squad creator on the film version, casting choices and plot direction

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Dec 8, 2014, 1:31 PM EST (Updated)

Most of DC’s massive film schedule seemed like no-brainers, but a lot of non-comic fans were scratching their heads over Suicide Squad. So what does the guy responsible for the modern-day version of the anti-hero squad think of the film?

John Ostrander, creator of the modern-day version of the team, chatted with Comic Book Resources about what he thinks of the film plans and the surprisingly high-profile casting choices. Not surprisingly, Ostrander was as surprised as the rest of us when the studio announced Will Smith as Deadshot, Tom Hardy as Rick Flag, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Jared Leto as the Joker.

Considering his comic is being loosely adapted with a pile of Hollywood A-listers attached, Ostrander sounded psyched to see how the stars bring the baddies to life. Here are some excerpts from his comments:

Will Smith as Deadshot: “I see it. I definitely see it. The thing you have to consider is that movies are different and separate entities from comics. They have different needs, and they have to find ways to get a lot of people into seats. To the general public, Deadshot as a character is not well known, so they wouldn't really notice any difference. Of course, the people doing the movies want to have the biggest star that they can, because that will help draw people into the movie. Understanding all of that, I have no problem with the casting.

And don't forget, Gail Simone wrote a slightly different Floyd Lawton than I did. They've had Deadshot on ‘Arrow,’ and again, [that's] not at all the Deadshot that I wrote. That doesn't mean that it isn't valid for what they're doing. It isn't necessary that they follow my interpretation of the character. I do think that I have a very good take on Deadshot, but I've got to admit, any time casting is announced for anything, you get a certain percentage of the fans that are up in arms about it. ‘It's all wrong. It's never going to work.’ Going back, they said that about Michael Keaton when he was first cast as Batman, and they said it about Christian Bale, and they said it about Ben Affleck. Let's simmer down and see what it looks like, first.”

Tom Hardy as Rick Flag: “I think that's a very interesting choice. Again, Tom Hardy is a very versatile actor. What I am really impressed by with all of the casting is that they are getting some very good actors to play these parts. That means Warner Bros. is very serious about this movie. They are serious about the concept … I think Hardy is an excellent actor. Jared Leto as The Joker? Oh, my. This is his first film since winning an Academy Award! That's pretty high profile for a film called "Suicide Squad." They are taking this very seriously. [Laughs]”

Moving on to the story, it sounds like the studio is going with some major concepts used in Ostrander’s comic run, putting a Dirty Dozen spin on the story of villains forced to do good in hopes of earning their freedom. It’s the same concept we’ve previously seen on Arrow, and Ostrander think it’s the perfect setup for a tentpole film:

“It sounds like they are going with my original concept, which is that these are bad guys, and in order to earn their freedom, they have to go on missions, in which they could be killed. I've even read that they are talking about that as the film, as well. Which I think is a good one. My original pitch to DC was the Secret Society of Super-Villains meets ‘The Dirty Dozen.’ This sounds like they are fully behind the whole ‘Dirty Dozen’ concept. These are people that will get pardoned if they survive a very risky mission.”

We’ve been leery of DC’s plans in the past, but you have to admire the ambition to sign on such a big-time cast for a relatively low-tier property. If nothing else, we are extremely curious to hear more — plus, it doesn’t hurt that Ostrander is cautiously optimistic.

(Via Comic Book Resources)