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Warning: The Suicide Squad spoilers above and ahead
In October, James Gunn delighted fans of suspense, gore and pure anarchy when he boasted that Warner Bros. had given him “carte blanche” to kill off any character he wanted to in The Suicide Squad, his R-rated superhero actioner and entry into the DCEU.
With an ensemble cast so big they put 20 names on a poster to introduce them, that potentially spelled A LOT of deaths — and Gunn fully delivers on that promise in the film.
That’s not to say he didn’t labor over who lived and who died.
“I did change my mind,” he tells Yahoo Entertainment during a virtual press day for the film (watch above). “There were some people in my treatment that died that ended up not dying. There are some people that didn’t die, that end up dying. As I’m making the screenplay, I knew a lot of people that I was bringing on that were just gonna die early on. And then other people, the story kind of takes its own shape and I’m really getting into the flow of the story and making sure that every single instant is being as over the top as the movie is, and has as much veracity and emotion and sincerity as possible.”
That has to make an interesting experience for the actors involved, knowing there’s a chance they may not live to see another page while reading the script. Most of them, however, didn’t mind.
“I wasn’t afraid if I was going to die or not, because it’s such an honor just to enter into this really gigantic industry in The Suicide Squad with James Gunn,” Daniela Melchior, who makes her English-language debut as Ratcatcher II, tells Yahoo Entertainment.
“If I just make one Suicide Squad movie, and my character lives or dies, it’s a great move,” says Idris Elba, who plays Bloodsport. “Because it’s working with James Gunn.”
“I think when you get an offer to work with James Gunn, you really don’t care about how long it’s going to last,” adds Mayling Ng, who introduces Mongal.
(Again, spoiler warning...)
And then there’s Margot Robbie, who plays Harley Quinn — the DCEU fan favorite who’s easily the most untouchable member of the Suicide Squad, right? (Gunn told Uproxx’s Mike Ryan recently that he “One thousand percent” could’ve killed Quinn, though implied otherwise at the end of our interview, mentioning there was one unnamed member he couldn’t kill – and that’s not including John Cena’s Peacemaker, who got his own HBO Max spin-off.)
Robbie, though, would not have been pleased.
“The minute I started reading the script I was like, “S**t, no one is safe’” Robbie told us. “And if this mother f**ker kills me, I will find him and I will kill him, and I will rewrite the goddamn script myself.
“Thankfully, I didn’t die, so I can keep playing Harley Quinn. She comes close to dying. But she doesn’t die.”
The Suicide Squad is now playing.
Watch the cast compare and contrast the film to Guardians of the Galaxy:
—Video produced by Kat Vasquez and edited by Luis Saenz