Warner Bros. hires James Gunn to write ‘Suicide Squad 2’

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Warner Bros. has announced that James Gunn, writer and director of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, would be writing the script to the upcoming “Suicide Squad 2.”

The news comes three months after Gunn was fired from Disney after a right-wing conspiracy theorist named Mike Cernovich discovered tweets made by Gunn between 2009 to 2012. Said tweets contained bad jokes involving pedophilia and rape, jokes which the man had long since apologized for.

Gunn is a man who came from bad taste, having got his start working for Troma Films, a schlocky studio responsible for cult classics like “The Toxic Avenger,” “Class of Nuke ‘Em High,” and “Tromeo and Juliet.”  Ironically, the last film mentioned is one of Gunn’s first writing credits.

From there, he went on to work on numerous projects, such as 2004’s “Dawn of the Dead” remake and “Slither,” a send-up to 1980’s genre films. He also penned the script to the video game “Lollipop Chainsaw” before Disney hired him to write and direct “Guardians of the Galaxy,” released in 2014.

When Disney fired him, the future seemed uncertain, but the announcement by Warner Bros. is a smart move on their behalf since Gunn’s unique, off-the-wall vision will help bring life into the Suicide Squad, especially after the team’s feature debut train-wreck.

Like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the film has an unconventional group of not-so-good guys going up against a bad guy a bit big for their britches. While featuring crazy characters and a soundtrack filled with licensed songs, what “Suicide Squad” lacked that its Marvel counterpart had was personality and character.

Sure, the cast of villains was wild and spouted quips left and right, but that’s all they did, nothing else about the picture stood out. Although “Suicide Squad” did well at the box office, grossing $746 million worldwide, it was trashed by critics, in which it currently holds an average of 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

By contrast, both “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” proved to be a success with both audiences and critics alike.  

In hiring Gunn to pen the script, Warner Bros. has the chance to breathe life into their struggling franchise and to give their lunatic team its own identity, rather than just trying to imitate someone else’s style.

What Gunn will attempt to do with these characters is unknown.  Hopefully, the dark, bleak look of the original will be ejected in favor of a tone more lighthearted and playful, and the cast of rogues might be actual characters instead of people posing for a poster seen at Hot Topic.

One thing is for certain, the executives at Disney are kicking themselves for firing Gunn, rather than keeping him after the controversy the writer and director went through. Now, Warner Bros. has the chance to one-up Disney by letting Gunn breathe life into their gang of villains.