After having been fired from the third instalment of Guardians of the Galaxy by Marvel, director James Gunn is changing sides, as he has now boarded the sequel of Suicide Squad for Warner Bros.
At the moment, Gunn has only closed a deal to write the sequel’s script, however, with no director currently in place, talks could well move further, depending on how the screenwriting process goes.
Disney fired the director in July, following the resurfacing of old tweets from 2008 and 2009, in which he made controversial and insensitive jokes about such topics as rape and paedophilia. After his firing, members of the Guardians cast including Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana signed an open letter asking Disney to reinstate Gunn, while fans started a petition to do the same.
However, Disney has remained firm on their decision, with CEO Bob Iger telling The Hollywood Reporter, “The James Gunn decision was brought to me as a unanimous decision of a variety of executives at the studio and I supported it […] I haven’t second-guessed their decision.”
Given the lukewarm reception that Suicide Squad received upon its release, Warner Bros. have taken their time to try and find the right director for its sequel, developing takes with original director David Ayer, as well as Gavin O’Connor. It has also looked at other directors like Mel Gibson and Daniel Espinosa, but the sequel has been left in limbo since O’Connor departed in order to pursue another project.
Sources at the studio told The Wrap that Gunn isn’t developing a “sequel” but rather a new take on the DC property, which brings together villains Deadshot, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc in service of the government.
More on the Suicide Squad sequel when we have it.