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James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad introduced a number of lovable characters into the DC Extended Universe, but King Shark remains one of the most memorable. Sylvester Stallone voiced the terrifying and goofy shark in the film. And he often stole the show, earning applause from audiences, as well as a Best Scene-Stealer nomination at Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s inaugural Isaac Awards.
But how does one capture a giant, deadly shark with humor and charm? Stallone had to get in his character’s head. And the actor believes that, when it comes down to it, King Shark is just lonely and searching for love.
King Shark has 2 very different sides in ‘The Suicide Squad’
King Shark is one of The Suicide Squad‘s most fascinating characters, and that’s because there are two sides to him. To join Amanda Waller’s (Viola Davis) team, he needed to be a ruthless killer. The movie has several scenes that see King Shark tearing his enemies in half — quite literally — rendering him a daunting opponent.
Of course, that didn’t stop viewers from falling in love with his goofier moments, most of which see him approaching interactions with childlike innocence. Whether he’s deciding that, no, he shouldn’t actually eat his friends or making a bomb in the likeness of Peacemaker (John Cena), it’s clear King Shark just wants his teammates to like him. And Sylvester Stallone leaned into that aspect of the character when voicing him.
Sylvester Stallone said King Shark was ‘looking for love’
King Shark may be one of the most intimidating characters from The Suicide Squad, but his size and strength don’t render him emotionless. In fact, he has plenty of scenes that pull on viewers’ heartstrings. He’s constantly trying to connect with those around him — whether they’re his teammates or fish in a tank that’s about to collapse.
During a 2021 interview with The Irish Times, Stallone got into the heart of the character: his desire to be loved. Considering things from King Shark’s perspective, the actor told the outlet:
“I’m definitely looking for love. I’m looking for my special female shark. I just want to get along. I want to be part of a group because you know, a shark is the loneliest apex predator. It’s great to find a group of outsiders who want to hang out with a 9,000lb shark. I can think of other things that would be better to hang out with.”
That’s doubly true when one considers King Shark’s tendency to eat those around him. To his credit, he does hold back when it comes to his new friends. But as Stallone points out, it’s difficult for people to get comfortable around him.
“He’s always pursuing company,” Stallone added. “But his table manners are really bad. His timing is really bad because he keeps eating people at the wrong times.”
Fortunately, Stallone’s character undergoes a bit of growth throughout the DC movie. Could fans see more of him down the line?
Will Sylvester Stallone be back after ‘The Suicide Squad’?
Thinking about King Shark’s growth throughout The Suicide Squad, one can’t help but wonder where else the character could go. Would Sylvester Stallone consider returning to the DCEU to voice the big guy again?
Although the actor hasn’t mentioned anything about reprising the role, he told The Irish Times that he intentionally seeks out projects that could extend beyond one film:
“I’m always looking for another franchise. I’m always looking for a story that could continue. I like to find those rather than just a one-off film. To me, the challenge is finding something that you can work with and think: I want to do another three of these films.”
And with The Suicide Squad leaving King Shark alive, there’s ample opportunity to explore the character in further depth. Now that James Gunn is working on multiple DCEU projects, he could bring him back into the fold. Given King Shark’s popularity, it’d be shocking if he didn’t.