In Warner Bros.’ search for a director to replace David Ayer on Suicide Squad 2, a frontrunner has finally emerged. According to Deadline, Orphan and The Shallows helmer Jaume Collet-Serra is currently the studio’s first choice to take the reins on the upcoming comic book movie sequel.
The studio did, in fact, meet with Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), who landed on a list for the gig back in February, but Gibson decided to move on after a production delay. The report also claims that several other filmmakers were considered as well, presumably some of the other names on the aforementioned list, including Ruben Fleischer, Daniel Espinosa and Jonathan Levine.
Nothing is official as of yet, but if talks continue and a deal is reached, Collet-Serra will be the latest in a long line of commercially successful directors to become attached to DCEU projects. From James Wan (The Conjuring) to Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), WB seems keen on targeting filmmakers who have a proven track record when it comes to crafting critical and financial hits.
Collet-Serra has an impressive filmography, consisting of mostly horror and action movies. Although his career took a stumble right out of the gate in 2005 with the much-maligned House of Wax remake, things only got better from there. Thanks to him, 2009’s Orphan was better than it had any right to be and a string of post-Taken Liam Neeson action movies made for decent entertainment. Most recently, he worked with Blake Lively on The Shallows, which turned a profit and led audiences to begin to take more notice of Collet-Serra. In early 2018, his latest collaboration with Liam Neeson, The Commuter, will hit screens worldwide.
Suicide Squad may not have connected with audience members, but regardless, they still turned up to see it, as it grossed $745.6 million worldwide on a $175 million budget. There is certainly interest in a compelling Suicide Squad movie and Collet-Serra could be the right man to deliver it to audiences.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Suicide Squad 2 is eyeing a mid-2018 production start date, which means it will likely hit theaters in 2019. Zak Penn (Ready Player One) has written a new treatment for the film and work on a new script (following one written by Adam Cozad) should begin soon.
Ayer, the director of Suicide Squad, has left the film series to pursue a Gotham City Sirens project for the DCEU.
Suicide Squad starred Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney and more.