When it comes to comic books and comic book movies, don’t count a character as dead until you see a body go into the ground. Sometimes not even then—right Norman Osborn and Doc Ock? So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that James Gunn, an iconoclastic filmmaker and longtime friend of Nathan Fillion, is up for letting one good turn deserve another. And the turn of plot in The Suicide Squad’s opening scene is very, very good.
In case you somehow need any sort of reminder, the film opens with us being introduced to a new gang of lovable misfits: there are old reliables like Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag. And hey look over there, that’s Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang! And then there’s the new meat we’ll get to know about and love over the course of a rousing adventure: Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Michael Rooker as Savant, and of course Nathan Fillion as T.D.K.
Fillion was of special fanboy importance given his longtime standing as a Comic-Con favorite after starring in the cult classic series Firefly and its subsequent movie spinoff. He also has been a genre leading man, including in Gunn’s first Hollywood film, 2006’s gonzo gorefest, Slither. Yet none of that could save him. With the exception of Robbie and Kinnaman’s leading characters, everyone else is absolutely slaughtered during The Suicide Squad’s first 10 minutes. Even Fillion wasn’t spared.
… Or was he?
During a recent social media watch party for The Suicide Squad, director Gunn took to Twitter to tease that Fillion’s T.D.K.—hilariously revealed to be the ineffectual “The Detachable Kid”—might actually still be alive.
“Important to note if you look at the life signals in the Comms hub TDK isn’t dead,” Gunn publicly tweeted to Fillion. Fillion responded in kind that “I noticed that very loudly when I saw this in the theater. Apologies again, for the disturbance.” You can see the exchange for yourself below.
The revelation is par for the course for Gunn, reminding us that despite writing T.D.K. off among the film’s official body count, we merely see T.D.K.’s broken arms lying bullet-riddled on the ground and a single close-up of Fillion’s unmasked face spitting up blood. It felt like a particularly mean-spirited and cruel punchline at the character’s expense, but then that’s how Gunn treats all his long time buddies in these sort of movies, right? Just ask Michael Rooker about what happened to Savant! But perhaps in Fillion’s case, that repartee with Gunn might be what keeps T.D.K. in the land of the living for any future projects.
The Suicide Squad is, after all, neither their first or second collaboration. In fact, Fillion has worked with Gunn five times if you count Fillion’s cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy and his appearance on Gunn’s infamous YouTube series, “PG Porn,” in addition to the film Super. So who’s to say we’ve seen the last of T.D.K., especially with Gunn’s Peacemaker miniseries coming up? Maybe he’ll return with a pair of shiny metal arms that can do more than just ineptly slap his foes?