"It's taken some work, but I finally have them. The worst of the worst."
Following Marvel's left-field successes with Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, the DC cinematic universe now attempts to spin-off its own alternative to the Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman mainstays. David Ayer's Suicide Squad is the gritty, grimy offshoot; unrelentingly dark and willfully psychotic, it's immense hype plays on its promises to serve up something entirely different to the usual superhero fare.
Sure, Harley Quinn and The Joker are here; but a lot of Suicide Squad's mystique also plays on the whole unknowingness of it all. Who exactly are these guys? Is there seriously someone in this team whose purpose revolves entirely around throwing boomerangs? Yes, yes there is. Let's break it down here.
WHO'S IN THE TEAM
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)
Quinn's a long-time fan favourite; her antics have already handed her a significant chunk of the film's spotlight, and Robbie is keen to assure fans she'll be just as "creepy, violent, crazy" as they'd expect.
Once Harleen Quinzel, the former psychiatrist finds herself fallen obsessively in love with one her patients. That'll be The Joker; though some versions of her backstory paint her more as the victim of a lengthy torrent of brainwashing and abuse. Indeed, considering Suicide Squad's darker tones, it may likely turn out Harley Quinn's insanity isn't quite as gleeful and mischievous as it was when she was first created for Batman: The Animated Series.
However she may have come under The Joker's spell, Suicide Squad's narrative very much deals with her breaking free of it and, as director Ayer explains, "becoming this fully actualised, independent person."
Deadshot (Will Smith)
Just like Quinn, Floyd Lawton severely lacks in the superpowers department; but the assassin sure makes up for it as the best shot in the business. And, if there's one thing to know, it's that Deadshot never misses his target. He's a hired killer enhanced by cybernetic implants, most famous for his trademark, glowing red eye.
Smith's killer is defined by a deathwish fixation, a determination to go down in flames. A facet somewhat explained by the comic's tragic backstory, in which he accidentally shoots his own brother while defending him from their abusive father; it'll be interesting to see if the little girl seen in the first look serves a similar purpose here.
The actor's added weight to the theory in his description of the character; "As the movie opens, [Deadshot] has a really big career score. He's looking to turn over a new leaf with his daughter after the hit, but it goes wrong. It goes terribly, terribly wrong. And it lands him in [prison] Belle Reve for life.” Does that "terribly wrong" involve the death of that little girl, presumably a daughter?
He's also hinted to some of Deadshot's own romantic entanglements; "Harley is the biggest troublemaker, but Deadshot's actually eyeballing her a little bit. There’s a pretty ragged romantic triangle there."
Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman)
Yet another member without powers, this Rick Flag appears to specifically be Rick Flag Jr.; son to the Rick Flag of the original Suicide Squadron in World War II (though who knows if this will be referenced in the film), and hoping to continue his father's military career.
Flag has often taken on the role of the Squad's leader; and, considering Tom Hardy was once in the role, it seems as if this may also be the case here. A notion backed up by the recent trailer, which sees him looking over the files belonging to the other members of the squad with a kind of puzzlement which suggests he might, indeed, be an outside agent hired by the government; topped off by his question, "What the hell's wrong with you people?"
Indeed, he's essentially a straightforward military man, not so much of a villain compared to the rest of these miscreants. That said, he does have a reputation for mental instability in the comics; hence, again, why Hardy was probably interested in the role. The man does love a challenge.
El Diablo (Jay Hernandez)
The guy with the skull tattooed on his face. The film sees his third incarnation in the comics, Chato Santana, take to screen; a gangster with pyrokinetic powers. The comics see the character turn himself in to police when his fire-based hooliganism ends with the death of innocent women and children.
His origin story does also involve him becoming possessed by the spirit of the former El Diablo, although the similarity to Enchantress' origins may see his fire powers sourced from elsewhere.
Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney)
Fact one, he's Australian. Fact two, he loves boomerangs. That's basically all you need to know.
Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje)
Alongside Quinn, Croc's likely the most recognisable member of the team thanks to his part in the Batman universe. His tough layer of skin, a result of atavism, makes him an intimidating foe; though he also possesses regenerative powers, superhuman strength, endurance, speed, and senses. Every team needs their muscle, and Akinnuoye-Agbaje's “cannibal with rage issues” provides exactly that. He's basically Thing/Hulk material.
Katana (Karen Fukuhara)
A perfect way to shake up this brutish team, Katana is actually a superhero in the comics world, having once been a member of the Justice League. There, Tatsu Yamashiro is a Japanese woman trained in the samurai arts after her family is killed by the Yakuza. Here, she's been tagged as Flag's bodyguard; not an enlisted member of the Squad but a willing volunteer. Which will surely make her motives through the story's running all the more interesting.
We also know the film will see her wield the blade Soultaker which, as you guessed, captures the souls of those who fall by its hand and allows its possessor to communicate with them. That explains all the whispy smoke and blackening eyes from the main trailer.
Slipknot (Adam Beach)
We've sadly seen very little of Slipknot so far, as portrayed by Canadian First Nations actor Adam Beach. All we do know is that he's essentially a mercenary-type like Rick Flag and Deadshot, but one with a particular skill in ropes.
The actor described him to Comic Book Resource as a kind of morally impaired fighter who'd do anything for the right price, while his rope skills set him up as the team's handy escape plan; "Give me a rope and I can fight with it... They were teaching me a move where if you try to throw a punch, I can use a rope to grab that punch, put the rope around your neck and just drop my weight and it snaps your neck. There's a lot of martial art skills you can use with the rope and it was pretty cool, man!"
MAYBE IN THE TEAM?
Enchantress (Cara Delevingne)
Enchantress' positioning in a lot of the marketing heavily suggests the character's powers may be the source of the film's main action. We've already glimpsed her humble beginnings as June Moore, an artist who stumbles across a magical being in an ancient cavern and becomes possessed by its spirit, earning herself healing and teleportation powers along the way.
In the film's first look, we see her in some sort of cave exploration gear, before later shivering in some grimy looking water and looking thoroughly possessed; plus the plot synopsis references the team's "mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity", suggesting Moore's inhabiting spirit may spend the film's runtime spiralling increasingly out of control.
That said, the new trailer does seem to list her alongside the other members; though it seems significant she's yet to be seen in a prison uniform. Will things end with The Enchantress being offered a space on the team?
The Joker (Jared Leto)
Having already been so iconicly portrayed on screen by the likes of Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson, Leto's going to have to really wow audiences to stave off the negative press his tattooed, crazed hair appearance has so far been attracting.
It's not exactly clear what part the Joker has yet to play; the trailers suggesting that he's clearly integral in Quinn's backstory, is causing some sort of generic mayhem in the city, and that he also appears as part of a chase sequence involving his own car (with Quinn in tow) and the Batmobile. Could he be a later inductee into the team, however?
NOT IN THE SQUAD
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis)
She's the one in charge, basically. Waller, a government agent, brainstorms a little plan to fight evil by rounding up the worst supervillains she can get her hands on. How? As she confesses, getting people to act against their own self-interests is just part of her job. “She’s relentless in her villainy,” Davis told Empire about her role. “When you look at her, there’s nothing that seems dangerous. Her only power is her intelligence and her complete lack of guilt.”
Batman (Ben Affleck)
We're well acquainted with Batman, but it's worth noting Baffleck will indeed be getting a cameo here, as seen in the trailer's chase sequence. However, with the actor spotted on set dressed as Bruce Wayne, it appears he'll be doing a little more than a quick, one scene appearance.
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