Wednesday, December 3, 2014

'Suicide Squad' cast announced

Will Smith once again is in the superhero business — but not as a drunk homeless man with super powers, but this time as an assassin with deadly aim.

Deadshot, who first appeared in BATMAN
No. 59 (June/July 1950), goes after the Dark
Knight in this issue of DETECTIVE COMICS
Joining Smith's Deadshot on the cinematic Suicide Squad will be: Jared Leto as the new Joker; former Bane actor Tom Hardy returns to DC Comics superhero films as Rick Flag; and the blond hottie from "the Wolf of Wall Street," Margot Robbie, will play The Joker's girlfriend, Harley Quinn. 

Rounding out the cast for the Aug. 6, 2016 Warner Bros. film is Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and Britsh model/up-and-coming actress Cara Delevingne as a DC Comics villainess I'm not familiar with, Enchantress. (Keep reading for my thoughts on the casting choices.)

“We look forward to seeing this terrific ensemble, under (director) David Ayer’s amazing guidance (and) give new meaning to what it means to be a villain and what it means to be a hero,” WB President Greg Silverman said in a prepared statement.

Ayer has said the film will go by the credo, “Does a movie really need good guys?”

Also rumored to be in "Suicide Squad" are Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor from "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey — the supposed first choices to play Amanda Waller, the Suicide Squad de-facto's leader and a U.S. government liaison.

Amanda Waller
For a quick update on those you not familiar with the Suicide Squad concept, a team of villains are given a chance at redeeming themselves through shady covert assignments for the government. However, Waller has the option of making it a suicide run by activating an explosive planted in the team member's head if the villain doesn't cooperate or goes too far off book. (As seen in the recent animated film "Batman: Assault on Arkham." Also, Waller and the Suicide Squad have been on the CW TV series "Arrow," which has featured Deadshot and a cameo of Harley Quinn. "The Flash," set in the same continuity, introduced Captain Boomerang in last week's episode.)

As far as the cast goes, Smith is money in the bank even though his last several films have struggled or tanked at the box office. He has natural charisma and has plenty of action-film credentials, all of which will be a huge asset to play the equally charismatic Deadshot. And I'm sure I'm not the only fan who is a sucker to watch anything with Smith in it.

My Puddin': This is the costume/incarnation
of Harley Quinn I'd prefer to see
in the "Suicide Squad" film.
Margot Robbie
Honestly, I haven't seen any films starring Leto or Robbie, but the key to their respective roles as The Joker and Harley Quinn is their chemistry. The pair need to have a volatile ying-and-ying relationship and play off each other well. Leto, 42, who earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in "Dallas Buyers Club," certainly has the look to pull off Harley's "Mister J."

Robbie is easy enough on the eyes, but there's apparently enough to her acting ability for her to be cast as possibly the most popular female comic-book character these days.

Needless to say, I'm quite glad to see Harley Quinn finally coming to the Big Screen. After all, I've been pulling for her to be added to the DC film universe since before "The Dark Knight" was released

The New 52 incarnation of Harley Quinn
As far as what Harley will look like in "Suicide Squad," I'd much prefer the classic full-body harlequin costume as seen in "Batman: The Animated Series" and DC's pre-New 52 continuity. But I'm sure we'll see the skankier costume in the comics now in which Harley is less fun and too psychotic for my tastes. (Sighs. Shrugs his shoulder as if to say, "What can you do?") Either way, I'm confident Harley's "Suicide Squad" costume will accentuate Robbie's curves and assets.

While I'm on this rant, I'll say one more thing about the modern take on Harley Quinn. I'm completely with cosplayer Adrienne Spindle Zibart, who told me: "I hate the new one. … She looks like a whore," she said during a March 2013 interview at the Louisville (Ky.) Comic & Toy Con.

Tom Hardy as the villain Bane in a promotional photo
for "The Dark Knight Rises."
Hardy is a fine enough actor and while he's done a nice acting job in every role, I can't say I'm a big fan. I certainly don't understand what Hollywood's fascination is with him. On the plus side, the undersized 5-foot, 9-inch actor bulked up and thanks to some tricky camera angles and a meatier role than what's in the comics, made an impressive Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises." We only hope Hardy does the same with a character with the singulary unimpressive — much less intimidating — name of Rick Flag.

"Suicide Squad" will start filming in April in Toronto.

The film has the distinction of being the next WB film to be released about five months after "Dawn of Justice" (which comes out March 25, 2016 — after playing release date-chicken with "Captain America: Civil War") to showcase more of DC Entertainment's cinematic universe, which also includes "Man of Steel" and will soon cover movies featuring Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and the Justice League.)

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