How James Gunn Decided Who Lives & Dies In The Suicide Squad

It’s no secret that in James Gunn’s upcoming film The Suicide Squad, not every member of the group of super-villains will be making it out alive. Since they are sent out on suicidal missions, Gunn had to decide who would be biting the dust at some point in the film, which releases August 6, 2021.

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Speaking to DC Comics about the upcoming film, Gunn said that a lot of the decisions came down to Gunn already knowing who would die when he first put them in the movie and that some were simply casualties of storytelling.

“There were a certain number of characters that I knew were going to die from the time I put them in the movie,” Gunn explains. “When I first pitched this idea to Warner Bros., I went into [Warner Bros. Film Chairman] Toby Emmerich’s office and I had made copies or made photos of every single character, and I had them all on a wall because it’s a lot of characters. To throw, like, Mongal at Toby Emmerich can be really confusing. Going through them in that way, I knew some characters were going to die early, and then other characters died as I told the story.”

Gunn went on to say that while he was writing, some of the deaths came through very organically and that it wanted to keep things as fresh and surprising as possible.

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“The way I write is I do have a basic structure of what the movie is,” he says. “The structure of this movie was really about the group as a whole, but there were deaths that took me by surprise because I go into a sort of fugue state when I’m writing. Some things happened very organically. It was really about what does the story need at this point. How does it work? How do we take a turn here that’s unexpected?”

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