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James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Looks Like the Right Kind of Nuts

A sneak peek at the star-studded film dropped at Saturday's DC FanDome.

Somewhat lost in the surge of movie news from DC FanDome was the first look at James Gunn’s take on The Suicide Squad. In lieu of a formal trailer, it’s a snappy, two-minute edit of cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and (very short) clips of footage from the actual film.

It all adds up to an irresistible preview of the film, which features an impressively constructed cast that counts a former professional wrestler (John Cena), a former Sexiest Man Alive (Idris Elba), Serious Actress™ (Viola Davis), and weirdo SNL star (Pete Davidson) among its ranks. The squad is still led by Margot Robbie, reprising her role as Harley Quinn from Birds of Prey and the original Suicide Squad film.

Here are the four takeaways we have after watching the preview which, in many ways, is actually more illuminating than a traditional trailer might have been.

It is very much James Gunn’s movie.

Obviously, everyone interviewed for this promotional material is over-the-moon positive about the film, but one theme that emerges is that this is James Gunn’s movie. In the superhero world, he proved himself on the Guardians of the Galaxy films, and he’s become enough of a brand that the studio is eager to promote this movie as his movie.

Gunn appears throughout the preview, but it’s what other people say about him that really drives this point home. In her only quote, Margot Robbie says “You need your director to set the vibe.” David Dastmalchian, who plays Polka-Dot Man, says “There’s no one better in the world to direct The Suicide Squad than James Gunn.” And Gunn himself says he wanted to do the movie from his point of view.

With so much hype around Gunn, it seems likely that, good or bad, the movie will deliver on that promise.

It’s apparently a legitimately unique superhero movie.

Another point everyone seems to want to get across is that this film is new. That makes sense, as years of let’s say similar Marvel movies (with some exceptions) have made some fans suspicious that a new superhero movie will hew too closely to a Hollywood formula.

Gunn says that The Suicide Squad will “be different from any superhero movie ever made.” One of the producers on the film likened it to a gritty 1970s war movie, perhaps a reference to the jungle warfare scenes hinted at by this preview.

It is going to be big in every way.

Gunn calls it “by far the biggest movie I’ve ever made,” and Elba says it’s “a big, massive graphic novel brought to life.” This preview has it all: bazookas, explosions, a massive American flag, and some kind of imprisoned cat-human hybrid which, OK.

The most colorful description, however, has to belong to German actor Flula Borg: “Everyone is exploding—genitals, heads, arms, legs.”

Now that is how you sell a movie.

The Suicide Squad is scheduled to be released on August 6, 2021.