It's no exaggeration to say that James Gunn's The Suicide Squad is an ambitious project. Not only is it a summer tentpole based on a comic book IP, but it also features one of the greatest ensemble casts in recent memory. But that's not where the film's ambition ends. According to Empire Magazine, the production apparently set a record for most sets ever built for a Warner Bros. movie. About 100 in total were erected with one of them taking up the space of four parking lots on Pinewood Atlanta's backlot. "This is the largest construction project on any movie they've ever done," producer Peter Safran, relaying information from the studio, told the outlet for its December issue.
"It was becoming more and more blue-screen on my other movies, and it sort of bums me out a little to be spending three weeks on a set that is just a few painted purple rocks," said Gunn, who also wrote the film. "But The Suicide Squad is a big film with so many practical effects. We were really building giant sets."
"I know we did a lot of construction, but I would say for sure that this is probably the biggest movie of destruction that Warner Bros. ever made. We definitely blow up a lot of stuff," added producer Charles Roven.
Special effects supervisor Dan Sudick agreed with that notion. Having worked on all the Marvel movies shot in Atlanta, Sudick told Gunn that "he thinks he did more special effects on this movie than all the Marvel movies combined. And that really is true because we're crushing cars, we're blowing up tons of stuff, we're doing tons of squibs."
Earlier this week, Empire ran a snippet of its larger Suicide Squad feature, in which Gunn promises that no character is safe from a gruesome death. Some of the team members might even kill each other. Thanks to an R-rating, the filmmaker didn't have to pull any punches with his depiction of DC's Task Force X. It was basically the polar opposite of the more family-friendly work he's done on Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy films.
"We could do whatever we wanted. There are no rules in terms of sex and violence and things like that," he said.
The Suicide Squad will infiltrate theaters on Aug. 6, 2021.