Sunday, 26 April 2015

Casting Call: Suicide Squad

I am, in general, less than enthused by DC's upcoming roster of superhero movies. The trailer for Batman vs. Superman looks grim and boring; what's worse is that I'll almost inevitably end up paying to go see the damned thing anyway. There are a few announcements that have peaked my interest, though, and one of them is Suicide Squad, the first film outing of DC's ever-changing crack team of villains and anti-heroes. If they get this right, it could be genuinely brilliant. If they don't, well, at least it's got a cracking cast.

Will Smith
Floyd Lawton/Deadshot

Deadshot is the primary recurring member of the Suicide Squad, a crack marksman and assassin who, due to years of training and the helpful addition of a cybernetic eye, never misses. Well, he missed once, but that was against Batman. He has suffered a particularly abusive history and is a lot more sympathetic than most of the characters on this list, but he still has an absolute disregard for human life. More amoral than evil, but no less deadly for it.

Everyone knows who Will Smith is. Previous screen Deadshots have been played by Michael Rowe on Arrow and by Bradley Stryker on Smallville.

Jared Leto
The Joker

The Joker needs no introduction. The Clown Prince of Crime is Batman's greatest enemy, and will surely go on to appear in future films against the Caped Crusader after this. Jared Leto, lead singer-songwriter for Thirty Seconds To Mars and a very well-regarded actor known for, among many other things, Dallas Buyers Club, is set to take on the role. He'll have a very difficult time convincing naysayers he's right for the part, and has to equal, if not better, Heath Ledger's legendary performance in 2008's The Dark Knight. Ledger, though, had the similar problem of coming into the long shadow of Jack Nicholson, whose role as the Joker in 1989's Batman was considered definitive... until Ledger outdid it. In recognition of the character's 75th anniversary, director David Ayer has released the first official image of Leto in full make-up. Quite wisely, they're going for a completely different take on the signature look to previous screen outings, one that will no doubt appeal to some while enraging others. I'm not sure about the forehead tattoo, or the wanky glove, but otherwise, this is interesting. Pure poser Joker.

Margot Robbie
Harley Quinn

Created for the excellent Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn has gone onto become a staple character in DC's comics and a fan favourite. The former psychiatrist for the Joker, Harleen Quinzel (really) fell for the villain and became his lover and sidekick. They have a passionate but fractious relationship, and it'll be fascinating to finally see this in live-action. Harley had no superpowers to begin with, but became fast friends with Poison Ivy, who injected her with a serum which increased her resilience and strength. In recent comics, she has become more vicious, before attempting to reform her character by turning to crime fighting. We'll see how much, if any, of these developments make it to the movie. Harley is probably the most fun of all the characters in this film, and getting her right could make or break it as much as the Joker. Her initial cartoon portrayal was modelled heavily on her voice artist, Arleen Sorkin. Margot Robbie certainly looks the part. She's previously appeared on the big screen in About Time and The Wolf of Wall Street, before co-starring with the aforementioned Will Smith in Focus.

Joel Kinnaman
Rick Flagg

Rick Flag is actually three characters, father, son and grandson, but they're all heavily associated with the Suicide Squad. The original Captain Rick Flag led the Suicide Squadron during WWII, while his son was the leader and core member of the modern incarnation of the Squad, and has been responsible for some of its most glorious missions. Joel Kinnaman is Rick Flagg (sic), previously known for the Robocop remake and The Killing. He should be a pretty important character in this admittedly huge cast. Tom Hardy was initially linked to the role but dropped out of negotiations.

Jai Courtney
George Harkness/Digger/Boomerang

Yes, this is Captain Boomerang, a pretty laughable villain who was recently given a shot in the arm when Nick Tarabay portrayed him in Arrow and The Flash. "Digger" Harkness is an Australian criminal who uses various trick boomerangs to aid his crimes. He's also a massive racist, so this should be fun. Tenner says he gets his teeth punched in by Deadshot.

Viola Davis
Amanda Waller

Amanda Waller, known as "the Wall," is a former congressional aide who has proven herself to be both a powerful enemy and ally for various heroes in DC comics. Ruthless and uncompromising, it was Waller who recreated the Suicide Squad, enlisting various supervillains with the promise of pardons or parole. She's had a number of screen appearances in recent years, played by Pam Grier on Smallville, Angela Bassett in Green Lantern, Cynthia Addai-Robinson on Arrow, and now Viola Davis. Initially they were looking at getting Oprah Winfrey to take on the role, and she's certainly evil enough.

Scott Eastwood
Steve Trevor

Steve is primarily a Wonder Woman character; as her primary love interest in the earlier comics, he goes right back to 1941. It's no shock then that Eastwood is set to reprise the role for the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Usually portrayed as a US intelligence officer, his role here would seem to be as the straightforwardly heroic side of the leadership of the Squad. Scott Eastwood is, of course, Clint Eastwood's son, and whatever he achieves, that's the first thing anyone is ever going to say about him.

Carla Delevingne
June Moon/Enchantress

The "Switcheroo-Witcheroo" as she was first billed, the Enchantress is, as she sounds, a sorceress armed with an array of magical powers. Interesting that DC are including a magic-based character so early on. Being profoundly non-magical, both Batman and Superman are susceptible to magical attacks. The Enchantress has acted as both villain and hero over the years, and was part of the Shadowpact, the original magical superteam in the DC universe. This has since been superceded by Justice League Dark, who faced the Enchantress as an antagonist; still, I wouldn't be surprised to see her turn up in the JLD movie. The upcoming starlet Cara Delevigne is set to play her.

Adewale Akkinnuoye-Agbaje
Waylon Jones/Killer Croc

A favourite Batman foe, Killer Croc began his appearances as a thug with a tragic background, who suffered from a genetic abnormality that gave him scaly, reptilian skin. Unlike real-life diseases of this type, this is in Croc's case a form of genetic atavism, and he has gradually become less humanoid and more reptilian as time has gone by, his strength and agility increasing while his human personality subsides. Adewale is best known as Mr. Eko in Lost, but has a host of genre and non-genre roles under his belt. His appearance in Suicide Squad sounds like it'll be little more than a cameo, but you don't waste an actor like that so he may well be back.

Raymond Olubowale
King Shark

If a crocodile man wasn't enough, there's also a shark man! King Shark, aka Nanaue, is the son of the Hawaiian Shark God and displays all the characteristics of a shark in a (roughly) humanoid body. Able to breathe underwater and almost invulnerable to harm, he's potentially a very powerful opponent but has never really hit it big. Again, this looks like a cameo for the little known Raymond Olubowale, but I could see him coming back for the Aquaman feature. King Shark is, however, primarily an enemy of Superboy, and actually had to work alongside him in the Squad before.

Karen Fukuhara

Primarily an opponent, and love interest, for Captain Atom, Plastique, aka Betti Souci, is another character of shifting affiliations, having worked for both the Suicide Squad and the Justice League for brief periods. She has the power to generate explosive forces from her body. Jessica Parker Kennedy portrayed a young version of the character on Smallville, while Kelly Frye plays her on The Flash. Karen Fukuhara is a young actress and Suicide Squad seems to be her first major production.

Adam Beach

Christopher Weiss is another of the lesser DC villains who's main fame comes from joining teams like the Squad. He developed a unique formula for super-durable ropes which he combines with his expert mastery of knot-tying. He's an assassin as well, but good luck to Adam Beach in making this guy cool. Currently starring in Arctic Air, Beach has years of TV appearances on his CV.

From left to right, standing: David Ayer (writer/director); Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flagg); Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc); Jay Hernandez (role unknown); Jai Courtney (Boomerang); Viola Davis (Amanda Waller); Adam Beach (Slipknot); Jim Parrack (rumoured to be Deathstroke); Ike Barinholtz (rumoured to be Hugo Strange).
From left to right, seated: Will Smith (Deadshot); Karen Fukuhara (Plastique); Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn); Cara Delevigne (Enchantress). Jared Leto was away on tour when this was shot.

No comments:

Post a Comment