It’s been over 24 hours and I still can’t quite wrap my head around the Suicide Squad casting.
One of the reasons I try to dreamcast one character at time is because I feel like it’s important to focus on that character because when you cast a whole team at a time you don’t get the full explanation of why this actor is perfect for this role. Looking at this cast list is like looking at mad ramblings of your uncle who vaguely read comics as pimply teenager and loves Ridley Scott movies and thinks that people are too hard on Michael Bay.
I’m not saying that these people are terrible actors, just terrible choices. It’s not even that they are the worst possible choices, to be honest. It just feels so forcefed. You don’t need to squint very hard to see the strings making this studio-driven marionette dance. I’m just really confused by all of it. It’s as if there was no thought to the years of history these characters have, the studio took a one sentence blurb on each villain and wound up their lottery ball radomizer filled with top-billing names and picked out names until one worked the best.
First of all, a huge gripe I have about this movie in general beyond the casting and rumors that Warner Bros wants to make this movie their version of Guardians of the Galaxy. Sorry, but that’s not how that works. Guardians was about a group of misfits who became a family, Suicide Squad is about a group of villains whose prison work detail isn’t janitorial or in the kitchen but instead working on a government appointed task force. Some may argue that over time the Suicide Squad did develop close bonds but they were never a family.
Secondly, as a task force hand-picked by the feds you would think they would chose only the most skilled and highly trained villains to do their bidding. The myriad of morally-ambiguous DC characters Warner Bros had to chose from is staggering and yet here we have Joker and Harley Quinn. What the ballsack?! Why would you ever put them on a task force? Ohhh, for name-recognition, because you’re worried audiences won’t see a movie if they don’t know anyone. You’re worried you won’t make $770 million unless you throw in Batman’s most memorable villain. Awesome, I can already tell you’re going to take characterization and story really seriously.
Signing Jared Leto for Joker isn’t the worst casting but my god it doesn’t feel right either. It’s like taking a large gulp of flat soda. It doesn’t taste bad per se but it’s off-putting. Leto has a wide-eyed maniacal look to him that fits but he lacks the John Malkovichian level of insanity that would make Joker a standout character. The last time we saw Joker on the silver screen he went from cult favorite villain to the world’s most beloved psychopath. Why? Because Heath Ledger took a character we thought we knew and made sure we would never not shudder a little whenever anyone utters the phrase, “Why so serious?” I feel like by choosing Leto the studio is playing it too safe.
Along the same line of too safe are Jai Courtney as Boomerang and Tom Hardy as Rick Flag. Choosing an Australian actor to play Digger Harkness is a great move but were they swayed by his acting abilities or the huge female following since he joined the Divergent cast? I’m sassy and bitter but I’m not the rudest bitch on the planet, I will hold my judgement on Courtney until the movie actually comes out. As for Tom Hardy I’m a little more apprehensive. We just suffered through his European interpretation of Bane just a few years ago. Now he’s supposed to be playing a gruff, imposing military man. I mean, at least they aren’t using him to white-wash another character, am I right? Hardy definitely can act his ass off but is that necessary for a character like Flag? Are they planning on making him the emotional pillar that this team leans on? I would say that doesn’t make any sense but nothing about this announcement made any sense.
Next up are the stunning ladies who should most definitely switch roles. Enchantress is an interesting addition to the team. With her magical powers and sinister alter ego she can’t control she is a character that definitely could win audiences over. The lovely Cara Delevingne has been cast for the role but that doesn’t quite sit right with me because Cara seems like she is capable of bringing so much more to the table. In fact I think instead of Margot Robbie playing Harley Quinn I think Delevingne would be perfect for that role. Margot has the chops to play the anguish of Enchantress and Delevingne has the moxie to play Harley.
I’m terrified Warner Bros is going to use Harley in the worst way. I might be one of the 12 people on Earth who doesn’t stan the hell out of Harley but I do appreciate her as a character. Her most important and redeeming quality isn’t that she is the on-again/off-again girlfriend of the Joker, it’s that she is so much better when she’s not tied down to the Joker. I feel like the studio is going to completely ignore that and turn her into Mr. J’s sexy sidekick. What makes me feel that way? Well, they cast Margot Robbie. You can practically hear the sloppy, salivating noises of the Warner Bros execs as they picture Robbie in Harley’s New 52 getup. Excuse me while I roll my eyes for eternity. Instead of focusing on personality, which Harley has an endless supply of, they are going to turn her into a one-dimensional sex kitten and neck-beared asshat nerd-boys everywhere will rejoice while Paul Dini fans will weep into their multiple copies of Mad Love.
And lastly, I leave you with the biggest what the fuck of the whole bunch. Will Smith to play Deadshot. If you weren’t already intimately aware of my feelings for Floyd Lawton then may I direct you to a piece I wrote almost a year and a half ago. In brief summation, he’s a chauvinistic, masochistic, hunk of burning man. With the exception of being the right gender, Will Smith is none of those things. And don’t come at me saying he’s an actor so he could easily play those things, no. We all grew up with Will Smith’s acting, he is not that guy. And this is definitely not a race thing because if you want to make Floyd black, that actually works so much better for his pre-52 backstory. I don’t think Floyd can’t be black, I just don’t think Will Smith will play him to his fullest. You want a sexy, aggravating, machismo dickhead played by a black actor call up Taye Diggs. Because that man is fine as hell and he could literally point a tank at me and I would still bite my lip and give him a flirty wink a la Tina Belcher.
Call me biased as an MCU fan but the new line-up of DC Comics-inspired movies seems like more work than fun. I want them to be good, I love these characters but so far Warner Bros has done nothing to let me trust them. Fingers crossed I’m wrong. Please prove me wrong, Warner Bros, put this bitch in her place.