7 Questions About the ‘Suicide Squad’ Cast That Are Probably Haunting You Right Now
Although both parties are essentially playing the same game, one can note very different strategies between Marvel/Disney and DC Comics/Warner Bros. when looking at their approaches to building superhero franchises. One of the big ones has to do with casting. Marvel’s M.O. thus far has been to wrangle under-the-radar talents (especially those with strong jaws) and slap them into star making roles. DC, on the contrary, opts for big names with which to augment the sale of their already popular superheroes… and now, villains. Topping perhaps even the likes of Ben Affleck — who, of course, is playing Warner Bros’ new Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice — is the central player in DC’s next movie, Suicide Squad: Will Smith, the man some have called the last living movie star. Beside Smith in the ensemble piece are fellow celebrated figures Jared Leto and Tom Hardy, plus a few on-the-rise figures like Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, and Cara Delevingne.
The assembly of villains will include the DC Comics characters Deadshot (played by Smith), Rick Flag (by Hardy), Boomerang (by Courtney), Enchantress (by Delevingne), plus — the most well known of the lot — the Batman villain Joker (by Leto) and his lunatic sidekick Harley Quinn (by Robbie). Any number of questions amount as a result of such high-profile casting in this adaptation of a fan favorite comic book construct, but there are a few that stand out in particular.
1. IS WILL SMITH GOING TO BE THE "STAR"?
First off, our attentions turn to Smith, whose casting suggests that the Deadshot role might bear more than his equal share of screentime. Latter day Smith isn't really one to take on ensemble pieces; Quentin Tarantino fans will recall that the actor infamously dropped out of the titular role in Django Unchained after deciding that his character was being overshadowed by Christoph Waltz's.
Smith told Entertainment Weekly last year, "Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!" ... which pretty much says everything we need to know about how feels regarding playing second fiddle. So is Deadshot going to take center stage in this film?
2. WILL DEADSHOT BE FUN SMITH OR SERIOUS SMITH?
We just about know the answer to this one already, but it's still a hurdle we'll have to jump. There was a time in Smith's career when he seemed tailor made to play a superhero or villain (I'm not counting Hancock right now). He was a goofball armed to the pants with bravado, a natural commander of the eye, and the sort of fresh and funny figure who'd easily handle what we now know quite well as the Marvel model. But DC's ideology is quite different here: no jokes. We're not going to get the silly, swagger-laden Smith who has led so many Hollywood blockbusters, but instead the serious, sinister one that has come to light of late.
And Deadshot is a pretty grim character at that, even for the humorless DC. The man's chief objective in life is to die — in keeping with the nickname of his troupe of villainy, Deadshot harbors suicidal feelings and simply wants to "go out in a blaze of glory," as it were. Material this bleak might be tough to land, even for recent-era Smith.
3. IS BOOMERANG GOING TO BE RACIST?
That might sound like a weird question, but the character was painted as quite a bigot in the comic books (and even his fellow supervillains were not too keen on this). He was also something of a general screw-up and loose cannon, the sort of characteristics that might call for a particularly flavorful performance from whomever takes on such a role in a feature film.
But Jai Courtney is hardly the standout thespian of the lot here, falling behind Smith, Leto, Hardy, and Robbie when it comes to screen flare. (Granted, it doesn't help that Courtney's biggest roles to date have been the likes of A Good Day to Die Hard, I, Frankenstein, and Divergent.) But is the casting of Courtney an indication that Boomerang will lose some of his more contentious traits, in light of a more action-oriented background role behind the big name performers?
4. WILL HARLEY QUINN BE ONE BIG PROBLEM?
Margot Robbie has got quite the task on her hands: walk a terribly fine line between quirky, campy fun and creepy, misogynistic garbage with Harley Quinn, a character who has seen both fates over the course of her relatively short lifespan.
Robbie is probably best known for her role in The Wolf of Wall Street, wherein she played a figure who ruffled plenty of feathers in regard to the interpretation of her delivery as altogether regressive. Granted, the lion's share of detractors targeted director Martin Scorsese, not necessarily the actress herself, in these conversations. But our connotation with Robbie is nonetheless the psychologically regrettable Naomi Lapaglia Belfort, and there's the ever present worry that Harley Quinn (a difficult character to get "right") might incur those same cries of woe.
5. CAN JARED LETO EVER LIVE UP TO—?
Don't even finish that sentence. Going into a Suicide Squad with Heath Ledger's Joker in mind is recipe for disaster. It isn't Jared Leto's job to "top" or "live up to" Ledger, but to create his own character, one distinct altogether from that of any Joker we've seen to date. We wouldn't want anything that felt derivative, so why would we enter the game with a mentality that almost demands derivation? In any event, all our positive vibes about Leto as Joker can be found right here.
6. WHO IS CARA DELEVIGNE?
The London-born star has been in too few films to have any sort of reputation just yet, but that isn't a bad thing. Her character, Enchantress, is not exactly one of DC's best known figures herself, meaning that the two can foster blossoming notability together. Excitement prevails.
7. IS TOM HARDY JUST TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE DC UNIVERSE ALTOGETHER?
Yes. First DC, then the world.
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