‘Suicide Squad’ Could Be DC’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

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Warner Bros. has finally officially announced the cast of the much-rumored DC movie Suicide Squad, with Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Margot Robbie all snagging roles as predicted, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The studio seems to be taking a similar route with the movie as rival comic book and movie maker Marvel did with last summer’s ultra-successful Guardians of Galaxy by taking a lesser-known comic about a group of antiheroes and getting a bunch of big celebrities to play the parts.

The fact that only the most ardent comic book fans knew of Guardians before the movie came out didn’t discourage audiences from packing into theaters to see Chris Pratt and company being funny intergalactic bounty hunters. The film was one of the most successful of 2014, raking in more than $300 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. It also scored on good reviews, which praised the movie’s visuals and sense of humor.

The Suicide Squad is a group of supervillains who agree to work for the good guys, specifically the U.S. government, in exchange for shortened prison sentences. Director David Ayer, who’s also set to write the script, said in an interview with Empire that the movie will be like “a Dirty Dozen with supervillains,” which has comic book fans pretty excited.

Smith is set to play Deadshot, a Batman enemy and assassin with perfect aim and little regard for human life, things the group uses to its advantage. His main motivation for joining the Squad is a compulsive desire to have some sort of spectacular death, and he’s haunted throughout his life by the accidental killing of his brother. Tom Hardy will play Rick Flag Jr., the mentally unstable leader of the team.

Most notably, Leto will take on the role of Batman villain the Joker, with Robbie playing the Joker’s on-and-off girlfriend Harley Quinn. Leto will have some big shoes to fill, as the last movie Joker was the late Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. That role earned Ledger a posthumous Oscar, the only Academy Award ever given for acting in a superhero movie.

Supermodel-turned-actress Cara Delevingne is signed on to play Enchantress, an artist who gets turned into a sorceress at a costume party in a castle and gradually loses control over her magical abilities. Jai Courtney is playing Captain Boomerang, an enemy of the Flash who uses boomerangs as weapons and is considered to be the ineffective class clown of the group.

The concept is similar to Guardians in that it involves a little-known group of antiheroes, but seems like it could be darker than a more straightforward comedy. Most of the villains in the Suicide Squad have some sort of tortured past that’s motivated their evil deeds. The film has plenty of potential for lots of dark humor, and Guardians already showed that audiences are open to movies about superheroes they aren’t familiar with. DC is looking at profiting on a formula that Marvel has already proven can make for box office magic. Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters in August 2016.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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