Anghus Houvouras on why he thinks we should all be rooting for Suicide Squad…
A cast that ranges from the inspired to the ludicrous. Character designs that have broken the internet in half. Mutant Argus soldiers covered in a thousand eyes toting shotguns. One of the most popular movie stars in the world playing a murderous anti-hero. All this, and now Batman has invited himself to the party.
Suicide Squad looks insane. A weird, day-glo neon clad piece of insanity featuring an unproven big budget Director who, in the absence of an overreaching artistic strategy, may very well be defining the future of the DC Cinematic Universe. This could be the best thing to happen to Warner Bros. who seems completely unprepared to launch their own unified world of super-heroes in a little less than a year.
We all know about the first film in this new shared universe. The joyless, super-serial Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A film that plays with the notion of Gods & Men. By the looks of the first trailer, we’re going to be knee-deep in some philosophical fertilizer. Lofty issues of messiah complexes that can only be solved by punches to the face, head, chest, neck, and breasts.
But not Suicide Squad.
This movie looks craze-mazing. Hot Topic Joker driving through Toronto in a purple neon Lamborghini with Batman in pursuit? Killer Croc eating people? Ike Barinholtz from The Mindy Project as Hugo Strange? Suicide Squad looks like the kitchen sink of superhero movies. If you’ve been watching this insane behind-the-scenes-social-media-stream, you have to be excited. Or at least morbidly curious. David Ayer seems hell-bent on delivering something bananas. Something that appears to deviate wildly from the Mundane Marvel Movie Model.
It’s a shame that Suicide Squad is coming out first. If for no other reason than I think I know exactly what we’re going to get from Batman v Superman: Moping. Squinty, frustrated looks off camera. And a movie that looks like every Alt Rock music video produced from 2000 to 2006.
Fandom is in such a weird place right now. People are lining up to crucify Jared Leto’s inked-up Joker and firebomb the whole production before principal photography wraps, and yet these same super-fans are expressing their excitement for the Superman Lives documentary. A movie that was dealt nothing but venom when it was in the inception stages. Back in 1997, everyone was freaking out over what Tim Burton & Nic Cage were going to do to Superman. Now the masses seem to be lamenting the fact that it never came to be.
Mad Max: Fury Road has been a huge hit with film fans. Now everyone brings up George Miller’s failed Justice League adaptation as if it was some kind of tragedy. I don’t remember such a fond reception when then unknowns like Armie Hammer were being cast as Batman and the online film community balked at what a potential disaster Justice League: Mortal would have been. I’m sure at some point a group of ambitious young geek filmmakers will produce a documentary on the train wreck that was J.J. Abrams Superman: Flyby or Darren Aronofsky’s Batman: Year One. The ‘Comic Book Movies That Never Came to Be’ documentary is practically a sub-genre.
Why is the geek community so averse to seeing different interpretations of their favorite characters in development, but get misty for the weird adaptations that never came to be?
Suicide Squad looks bonkers. The best kind of bonkers. While the haters will rightfully point out how weird some of this is looking, those of us craving something different from our comic book adaptations welcome every new behind the scenes images with a gleeful, anxious grin while writing ‘HA HA HA’ on our arms with a sharpie.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.