For his new film The Suicide Squad, writer/director James Gunn is crafting a new approach to the DC Comics antihero team that already made it to the big screen back in 2016. That means some characters will be dropped, new faces will be brought in, and the overall tone of the film could end up being very different. That doesn't mean Gunn's getting rid of Amanda Waller, though.
The Wrap reports that an "individual with knowledge of the project" has confirmed that Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis will reprise her role as Amanda Waller in Gunn's film, joining a returning roster of characters that reportedly includes Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and Harley Quinn. Davis, as the Suicide Squad's ruthless supervisor, was one of the standouts of the 2016 film, and Amanda Waller has become an indispensible part of Squad stories in the eyes of many comics fans, so this move definitely makes sense.
Reports of how Gunn's overhaul is expected to take shape have been slowly making their way out into the world in recent weeks. Right now it looks like the character of Deadshot will return, even if Will Smith won't play him again, and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn is also a contender to be back. Jai Courtney said in a recent interview that he's expecting to return as Captain Boomerang, and now we've heard that Davis will also be back as Waller. Apart from that, it looks like Gunn is angling for a new lineup featuring characters like King Shark, Ratcatcher, Peacemaker, and Polka-Dot Man.
Having Davis on board will lend a certain degree of continuity to the film — after all, Suicide Squad lineups change in the comics, but Waller sticks around to run the team — while also allowing Gunn to make use of her irreplaceable and powerful screen presence. It's also an opportunity for Gunn to flesh out "The Wall," who remains one of DC Comics' most compelling characters more than 30 years after her creation.
The Suicide Squad arrives in theaters Aug. 6, 2021.