What the Suicide Squad Ending Means for Future DC Movies

When the smoke clears on the Suicide Squad ending, we have a clearer picture of the DC superhero movie universe.

Suicide Squad (2016) cast
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

There is nothing but Suicide Squad spoilers all the way through.

So, there’s kind of a happy ending to the Suicide Squad movie, right? Diablo gets his redemption, Deadshot gets time with his daughter, Harley gets to spend quality time with her beloved Mister J, and to hear some critics tell it, the fact that the movie ends at all is a happiness in itself (we mostly liked it, though). The Squad will live to fight another day, and ARGUS will continue to meddle in superhuman affairs via their own, kinda shady methods. 

But it’s not that simple. It’s never that simple. Not when you have an entire cinematic universe to keep seeding. And, to be fair, the Suicide Squad ending is a little bit more straightforward than the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ending (but only a little).

Between the movie’s proper ending, its post-script, and the flashback sequences featuring Batman and The Flash, the DC cinematic universe now has considerably more scope than it had before. The fact that the Wonder Woman movie appears to take place entirely during World War I should help matters further. As shortcuts go, this approach isn’t all that bad.

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There’s some fun stuff to be had here, though, so let’s have a look.

Harley Quinn, The Joker, and that Batman Solo Movie

So, Harley and the Joker are reunited, thus guaranteeing that their “it’s complicated” relationship status will continue ad infinitum. While there’s not a hell of a lot to unpack here from a purely story standpoint, this leaves some fairly obvious doors open.

For one thing, Jared Leto’s Joker, who is never anything more than an afterthought in this movie, will definitely be back to bedevil Batman in a future big screen outing. And there is absolutely a solo Batman movie coming, one that will not only star Ben Affleck (who gets a few precious minutes of fairly awesome bat-screentime in this one), but will feature him behind the camera as both director and co-writer (his writing partner on that script is DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns). 

There have been continuing rumors that this movie (possibly called The Batman) will feature a multitude of bat-villains. One thing Suicide Squad did remarkably well (and arguably better than Batman v Superman) is expand the overall flavor of DC’s cinematic universe and give it a sense of history that was lacking before. Sure, we were told that Batman had been active for years in Dawn of Justice, but Suicide Squad actually showed us, and it seemed fairly on the money.

But since Batman was responsible for separating Harley and the Joker in the first place, maybe Joker’s next step is to get some revenge on Batman for keeping his girl away from him for so long, and maybe seeing the whole team dynamic of the Squad gave Harley some bright ideas. I’m not interested in writing fan-fiction here, but it would be a crime if the next Batman movie didn’t feature Ben Affleck squaring off with Jared Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s note-perfect Harley Quinn, and the Suicide Squad ending leaves them in a place where that could easily happen.

Suicide Squad Mid-Credits Sequence and the Justice League Movie

“You look tired. You should stop working nights,” Amanda Waller tells Bruce Wayne in the most explicitly Marvel-esque introduction of characters from different franchises that Warner Bros. has yet attempted. Still, this is kind of a lovely scene, if only to get a few more minutes of screentime for Viola Davis’ terrific Amanda Waller. The implication is obvious that she knows how Bruce Wayne spends his spare time, and that’s cool in and of itself. 

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But the adversarial relationship between Bruce and Amanda is something that recalls some wonderful character moments in the absolutely untouchable Justice League Unlimited animated series (including the post-script in the future). Batman, a guy who is used to knowing everything and always getting his way, was constantly butting heads with Waller, a woman who pretty much knows everything and always gets her way. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think this relationship would be played out on the big screen. Plus, it just adds to the overall Batman: The Animated Series vibe I keep getting off of Ben Affleck’s Wayne.

While I could have watched these two talk shit to each other for another hour, there’s not much subtext to what else is happening here. Obviously, this takes place after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and a suddenly more mellow Bruce Wayne has seen the light about needing friends in this brave new world. He’s busy collecting info on the metahumans he first witnessed on YouTube or whatever it was in his last big screen outing. Clearly visible in Ms. Waller’s files are images of Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Barry Allen (The Flash, who made a pretty amusing cameo earlier in the movie, too), so this is just a little bridge to explain how Bruce tracks them down in time for the Justice League movie.

But don’t think ol’ Bruce has completely lost his edge. Even though he’s busy assembling his own Knights of the Roundtable (there were so many Excalibur references in Dawn of Justice… which is fine, because that John Boorman movie is a bonkers favorite), he clearly doesn’t approve of Task Force X, and he lets Amanda know about it. What’s more, Batman’s disapproval of the Squad is a beat taken right out of early Suicide Squad comics. The Squad and the Justice League have tangled with each other in the comics, but surely Warner Bros. wouldn’t dare threaten audiences with a Justice League v Suicide Squad movie… would they?

Nah. It’s probably nothing to worry about.