DC FanDome: James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad Panel Recap and Sneak-Peak Footage

Director James Gunn greeted fans virtually on Saturday for DC Fandome’s The Suicide Squad panel. In addition to bringing an EPK style video of never-before-seen footage from the making of the movie, he also revealed which DC characters will appear in the film while introducing the cast for the presentation. 

On hand were returning DCEU cast members reprising their roles from 2016’s Suicide Squad including Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. Also attending were new cast members such as Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peace-maker, Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, Alice Braga as Solsoria, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher II, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Michael Rooker as Savant, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., Sean Gunn as Weasel, Mayling Ng as Mongal, Flura Borg as Javelin, and Juan Diego Botto as General Luna. 

“This is amazing, and I am so excited to be here at DC Fandome with all the excited DC fans,” Gunn said to greet the audience. “As many of you know, The Suicide Squad is by far the most fun I’ve ever had making a movie. I’m still working hard on it, every day from morning to night, but we are having a great time creating something incredibly special for people.”

Gunn also addressed some questions from the fans that included asking about his memories of first reading the Suicide Squad comics, and which character was his favorite. “I first read John Ostrander’s original run on Suicide Squad,” he explained. “So, I remember reading the very first issue of that run and falling in love with the concept and the characters. I love the movie The Dirty Dozen, and this comic was like a super-villain version of that. I love the character of Amanda Waller who was so different for the time, in terms of being a strong woman but a bit of an anti-hero who is kind of bad and kind of good. She was not physically the same as everyone else you see in comic books and I just thought she was so cool. I just had a great time reading that original run.”

He also talked about his inspirations for the new film. “I had a long talk with John Ostrander, because he visited the set,” Gunn explained. “I said to him, I don’t think of this movie as much of an imitation of your comics as I think of this movie as a sequel to your comics. What would John Ostrander be doing with these characters if it was thirty years after he first started writing the book. So, I think it has the spirit and the lifeblood of the Ostrander books. I liked taking supervillains that have sometimes been in the Suicide Squad comics over the years but have also been in other comics, like Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher, who were never in the Suicide Squad, but I just think are great villains and have something to offer.”

The director also addressed which character in the film he was most excited to write for. “I’ve loved that character of Harley Quinn ever since Paul Dini created her for the animated shows,” Gunn answered. “She has a trickster God nature to her where she is always going in different directions, and as a writer that is a lot of fun to deal with because she takes you places you don’t know that you are going to go. So, a lot of it was me writing for Harley, and a lot of it was her writing for me.”

Gunn also revealed his favorite DC villain from when he was a kid, and how he considered incorporating him into The Suicide Squad. “I’m a huge Batman fan, and I’m going to tell you my favorite villain growing up and maybe it is a little embarrassing, but I’m not embarrassed by it,” he confessed. “It was Bat-Mite! I loved Bat-Mite. I thought he was hilarious and creepy as heck. So, Bat-Mite was definitely my favorite supervillain, and don’t think that I didn’t think about putting Bat-Mite in The Suicide Squad, because I did.”

The cast then split up into two different teams and competed against each other in DC trivia. After a guest appearance from actress Storm Reid, who plays Bloodsport’s daughter in the movie, it was revealed that Elba’s Bloodsport is the only villain to ever shoot Superman with a Kryptonite bullet. Whether that will be incorporated into the movie or not, is yet to be seen. When asked which DC hero his villain could take down, John Cena answered, “It’s not about taking anyone down, it’s about picking yourself up.”

Finally, the panel ended with a sizzle reel of behind-the-scenes footage of the filming of The Suicide Squad. It featured all of the cast members in their costumes and in some cases demonstrating their powers, as well as a shot of Harley Quinn firing a bazooka. In the video, Cena describes his character as a “duchy Captain America,” and Elba says of the movie, “The Suicide Squad is a twisted fantasy of characters from the massive graphic novels brought to life.” 

Written by
A graduate of Emerson College, Jami Philbrick has worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years, and most recently was a Senior Staff Reporter and Video Producer for Mtime, China's largest entertainment website. Before that, Philbrick was the Managing Editor of Relativity Media's iamROGUE.com for 4 years and has written for a variety of magazines and online publications including Wizard Magazine, Nerdist.com, and Collider.com. Philbrick has also been a contributor on Fox News, News 12 Westchester, AMC Movie Talk, and the PBS movie review series, Just Seen It. Philbrick was the 2019 recipient of the International Media Award at the 56th annual ICG Publicists Awards, and has interviewed such impressive talent as Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Al Pacino, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Mark Hamill, Spike Lee, Frances Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Stan Lee, and Kermit the Frog.

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