James Gunn on Playing in the DC Sandbox in 'The Suicide Squad' and Taking Big Risks

“I just wanted to do that I wanted to make an all-out entertaining film, from start to finish, that didn’t play by the rules,” director says

Warner Bros. in a bold move previewed DC Films latest entry “The Suicide Squad” on Wednesday, three weeks before the film’s official release, giving viewers the first look at perhaps the best film of James Gunn’s career.

People who saw “The Suicide Squad” were positively freaking out on Twitter after, calling it “hilariously violent and heartfelt,” an “epic all-out war story,” “weird and wonderful,” and “complete mayhem” with real “emotional stakes.”

The screening was followed up with a live Q&A with the director and Gunn addressed being given free rein to play inside the DC sandbox of characters and take chances.

“I mean, the amount of film directors or more specifically writer/directors, writers, or directors who have been able to come and play in a sandbox like this, as big as it is, with these classic characters, from a classic comic book company, and being given full reign to do whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to take as many risks as I possibly could,” Gunn said.

“I may not be able to do this in two years. But I can do it right now. And so I just wanted to do that I wanted to make an all-out entertaining film, from start to finish that didn’t play by the rules,” Gunn added. “I think that if movies are going to survive, because right now people go to the cinema for spectacle films, and that’s about it. But as long as that’s the case, I think those for people to keep going to the movies, those things, people have to be taking more risks in big, big movies, and they do right now. And so I wanted to take those risks.

Gunn also elaborated on the major villain in the film Starro, that also scared Gunn as a kid. “I wanted a major DC villain that is a major DC villain that people wouldn’t expect to be in a movie. And I’ve always loved Starro,” Gunn said.

“The idea of this giant starfish with really one big guy that shoots these things out of them that take over people’s brains, Superman with them on his face always scared the s— out of me,” Gunn added.

“It was about taking something that was completely kaiju ridiculous, putting him in a setting, and then allowing him to do his scary business, but he’s also completely outrageous. And so that mix of things appealed to my aesthetic.”

As the title card in the trailer says, “From The Horribly Beautiful Mind of James Gunn” comes the not-a-sequel to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” hits theaters Aug. 6, 2021. 

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