Suicide Squad: 12 big questions going into the movie

With Suicide Squad's release less than a month away, we have some questions about DC's next movie...

This article contains spoilers for Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman.

Suicide Squad is set to reach British cinemas on Friday 5th August 2016. That’s less than a month away, and yet there’s still a lot about the movie that we don’t know. That’s quite refreshing, in this age of trailers spoiling major plot twists and cameos, as big blockbuster advertising campaigns will generally reveal anything to stand out nowadays.

Here are the things we do know: David Ayer of Fury wrote and directed Suicide Squad. It will be rated PG-13 in the USA, and 15 in the UK. It features a band of villains being recruited by the US government to undertake dangerous black ops missions. Batman and The Joker are both in it, as the trailers have shown us.

Beyond that, though, we have these 12 questions regarding the Suicide Squad movie…

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1. What’s the black goo?

The main trailer for Suicide Squad (which we analysed in detail here) was littered with a black goo-like substance. This sludge, it seems, can kill people. And it can tear through cars. And, judging the impressive shot screen-grabbed above, it won’t be easy to shut this black substance down.

It seems safe to assume that this goo is the McGuffin of the Suicide Squad’s first government-sanctioned mission. That Will Smith’s Deadshot and the rest of the gang, I assume, are recruited to try a shut down this deadly menace. It’s such a dangerous mission that the government would rather send in known villains than risk the lives of trained soldiers.

But what is this goo? Who made it, and for what purpose? Is it some sort of deadly alien species akin to the symbiote from Spider-Man 3, or was it cooked up in a lab by an evil Earthling scientist? Could a major villain like Lex Luthor or The Joker be behind it? For now, we’ve no clue… 

2. Where does the Joker fit in?

If you watch the Suicide Squad trailers closely, you’ll notice that Jared Leto’s Joker doesn’t seem to share any scenes with the majority of the titular Squad. In fact, he seems to either be on his own or with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn for the most part.

Shots like the one above tease Harley Quinn’s evil origin story (she was the Joker’s psychiatrist before he turned her to the Dark Side). And given that main bulk of the Suicide Squad movie takes place some time after Harley first became a villain, it seems incredibly likely that we’ll see these Joker/Harley scenes playing out as a series of flashbacks (or, failing that, an introductory montage of some sort at the start of the film).

But is this all that the Joker will have to do in the film? Is he only present during the scenes in Harley’s past, or does he have a grander role to play in the present day storyline as well? We’ll have to wait and see. 

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3. Will we see other backstories?

If Harley Quinn gets to have flashback scenes establishing her backstory, why can’t everyone else? There are plenty of stories to tell in the pasts of the other characters: Deadshot’s days as a master assassin; Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang’s childhood as an impoverished boomerang enthusiast; the decorated military career of Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag; and the first time that Cara Delevingne’s June Moore was possessed by a witch, to name just a few.

There’s also Common’s Monster T, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara’s Katana, Chato Santana’s El Diablo and Adam Beach’s Slipknot. What routes did those guys take towards appearing in this movie? It doesn’t seem likely that we’ll get detailed life stories for each of them, but a few little snippets would be very welcome.

It’s worth remembering that Suicide Squad will be 130 minutes long. There will be plenty of stuff going on that wasn’t teased in the trailers.

4. How big is Batman’s part?

The Suicide Squad trailers give us just one tiny glimpse of Ben Affleck’s Batman (well, his stunt double); Gotham’s Caped Crusader landing on the Joker’s snazzy car during a high speed chase. This promises to be a cool sequence, which could well take place in one of those presumed Harley Quinn flashback scenes that I keep talking about.

Is this the only time we’ll get to see Batfleck in the movie? Is it just a fleeting cameo – with Bats capturing the Joker and sending Harley to prison – to whet our appetite for a future Batman movie? That does seem like a very real possibility.

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If Batman has too big a part to play here, it could undermine the Suicide Squad. What’s the point in a team of villains fighting for the government when Batman could’ve easily got the job done? All the locked up villains will presumably have pre-established beef with The Dark Knight, but that doesn’t mean he has to have a big presence in the film. As ever, though, I could be wrong.

5. What’s the main threat?

Let’s say that my guesses so far a right: the Joker does only appear in flashbacks, and that the black goo is dealt with during the Suicide Squad’s first mission. Who or what, then, is the main threat of the movie? I haven’t the foggiest, which is a great position to be in as a viewer going into a movie. 

One unidentified character from the trailer (screen-grabbed above) continues to mystify me. He can blow up a train using just a hand gesture, and has weird stuff all over his head. He seems to have red hands and a red head, and looks to have a synthetic skin texture not unlike the MCU’s Vision.

Is this guy the main villain of the movie? Did he orchestrate the sludge attack? What is he name/goal/exact skillset? I have no ruddy clue, but I’m looking forward to finding out. And if this guy isn’t the main baddie, who is?

6. How far will the magic exploration go?

As Rick Flag nonchalantly puts it in the trailer, Cara Delevingne’s June Moon/Enchantress character has been ‘possessed by a witch’. In some shots, she wears ordinary clothes and is allowed to hang out with other people. In others, she looks like a model for Zoolander’s Derelicte campaign. (You could even say that her look is somewhat reminiscent of the sludge. Is she the one behind it?)

The idea of adding witches and other magical morsels to the DC Extended Universe is a fairly big one. On the other side of the fence, Marvel is using a whole movie (Doctor Strange, coming later this year) to introduce mysticism to their filmic universe. DC are sticking these huge concepts into a packed ensemble movie instead.

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Will Suicide Squad delve deep into magic? Could we see visually stunning displays of Enchantress’ power, or possibly even take a trip to another dimension? Maybe. Or maybe magic will just be dealt with in blasé comments like Flag’s off-hand remark.

7. Who is Scott Eastwood playing?

On the right there is Scott Eastwood, who plays an as-yet-unnamed role in Suicide Squad. He’s clearly an army guy of some sort, and that’s all we have to go on really. Some believe the Joker will torture him. (“I can’t wait to show you my toys”, The Clown Prince Of Crime says to a not-quite-identifiable bloke while slapping him, in one of the trailers. Could this be Eastwood’s character?)

There are other theories, too. Some think Eastwood is playing Slade Wilson, who’ll go on to become the sword-wielding villain Deathstroke at some point. Other believe he’s Dick Grayson, former Robin and possible Nightwing, who’s gone undercover within the military on Batman’s orders.

At the moment, Scott Eastwood’s character remains a mystery. With any luck, we won’t know for sure who he is until the movie hits theatres. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a genuine surprise in the cinema?

8. Is Lex Luthor in it?

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice ended with Lex Luthor locked up, wearing an orange jump suit. The similarities between his situation and the Suicide Squad trailer – where pretty much everyone is locked up, in orange jump suits – were obvious.

Does this mean that Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor is set to appear in Suicide Squad? At the moment, it’s impossible to say, but it does seem feasible. Even if it’s just for a cameo, it would make sense if he crossed paths with the other incarcerated villains at some point.

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A theory from Moviepilot – based on an extended version of Lex’s prison scene from Batman V Superman‘s Ultimate Edition – posits that Lex could meet the Joker on the inside. And together, those two could cook up one hell of an evil scheme.

9. Will there be surprise cameos from other villains?

Setting segments a comic book movie within a supervillain prison opens all sorts of doors for cameo appearances. Suicide Squad could go in for this in a big way, stuffing in surprise cameos from villains that fans don’t even know have been cast yet. 

Imagine the thrill of sitting in the cinema, watching a scene within the Belle Reve prison, when suddenly a new version of the Riddler pops up. Or Catwoman. Or Poison Ivy. Or Penguin. Or Bane. Or any other DC villain that you can think of.

The internet would explode with the excitement of it, generating loads of buzz about this surprise new piece of casting and getting fans talking about what the next movie in the franchise might be. For example, if Calendar Man showed up, it could cause the fandom to speculate around The Long Halloween.  

10. Will it tee up The Batman?

Ben Affleck is set to make at least a cameo appearance in Suicide Squad. A large chunk of his rogues’ gallery is in the film, as well. Does this mean that David Ayer’s movie will in some way tee up The Batman, Affleck’s currently-being-scripted solo movie debut as Batman?

It’s certainly easy to assume that seeds could be sown here, for Batman to investigate/run over/punch a little ways down the road. A mass escape from Belle Reve or Arkham Asylum could set some villains loose for Bas to round up later, for example.

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Again, though, too much Batman stuff could derail Suicide Squad. We’ll have to wait and see how carefully that line is trodden. Given that Affleck’s performance was one of the most-praised elements of Batman V Superman, Warner Bros may want to use to Suicide Squad to reassure viewers that The World’s Greatest Detective isn’t going anywhere.

11. Will it tee up something else?

This film could be a very self-contained affair, or it could be a cameo-fest with loads of teases for future films. Which way that balance will swing depends on how much control the studio has been exerting over Mr Ayer, I’d wager.

Assuming that Suicide Squad mainly takes place shortly after Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, there are plenty of future movies it could tee up. Wonder Woman is next out of the gate (although a lot of that is believed to be set in the past), followed by Justice League, The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, more Justice League, Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps

Suicide Squad 2, Lobo and an as-yet-untitled Harley Quinn-starring female-fronted ensemble movie are also in development. Suicide Squad could give us big teases, or even mid-credits/post-credits scenes, alluding to any of these movies. We won’t know for sure until we see it.

12. Will the leads all survive?

And finally, as comic book history has taught us, being a member of the Suicide Squad isn’t usually conducive to a long and happy life. The clue’s in the name, really. But will the movie version have the guts to kill off any of its leads, in an age when any standout character could feasibly get a spin-off?

Of course, there’s no way of knowing at this stage. Previous lead-characters-dying form in the DCEU has been pretty strong, though, with General Zod infamously getting his neck snapped in Man Of Steel and Superman ending up six feet under in Batman V Superman. Of course he won’t stay there, but still.

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Personally, I’m hoping for a least two grizzly death scenes in Suicide Squad. I’m looking at you, Slipknot and El Diablo… maybe even Killer Croc, too. Basically, if you’re not in the middle of the publicity photo, you’re not safe. Sorry…