MICHAEL CAVNA: So we’d heard rumors that reshoots had been ordered to amp up the funny. Judging by the trailers, for what that’s worth, there’s plenty of funny. Margot Robbie and Will Smith especially crush their one-liners and banter, respectively. What think: Has Warner Bros./DC finally looked in the mirror and asked itself: Why so serious?
DAVID BETANCOURT: I would hate to see DC and Warner Bros. panic and tone down the darkness because of the reaction to “BvS.” The first “Suicide Squad” trailer was hilarious. A rumor is, though, that the last trailer contained all the funny moments in the film. I find that hard to believe. But I can understand after “BvS” not being the surefire hit they wanted that Warner Bros won’t take any chances. Between Will, Margot and Jared Leto, there’s enough comic talent here to add a few more laughs if needed.
MC: So we’ve seen the team assemble in earlier trailer footage. What are we seeing here that provides any new clues about story and the characters?
DB: We still don’t know if the Joker is the ultimate reason the squad is being put together. The trailer starts with the government scared of a rogue Superman situation. We sure did get a lot of Batman in this trailer, didn’t we? With Batfleck being one of the few universally agreed upon positive things about “BvS,” it’s no surprise here that he’s being featured heavily in this trailer. And that makes sense: Batman was a constant foe/reluctant ally of Amanda Waller in the Suicide Squad comics — and it would be great to see Batfleck v. Viola Davis. You can’t have a movie with the Joker and Harley Quinn without Batman.
MC: That raises the question: Just how much Batman will we get in this film? … Clearly DC wants to stitch the connections tight between “BvS” and “Suicide Squad” — but how much will they lean on Batfleck to do that?
DB: I don’t think there will be too much Batfleck, so as to not overshadow the Squad. There’s a whole team that Warner Bros. has to establish, so the filmmakers can’t make a Batman movie here. But a dash of Batman can’t hurt. What this movie has a fun chance to do is to show the connection between Batman and the Joker. There’s the issue of the Robin suit hanging in the Batcave from “BvS.” Robin is dead in this universe. Will they have time to address that?
I think we’ll get a couple of Bat-scenes and then it’s back to the Squad.
MC: So I’ll say it again: With each added glimpse of Harley Quinn, I just don’t see how this doesn’t become a huge breakout for Margot Robbie (“Z for Zachariah,” “Focus,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”). I mean, comic-cons are chock full of Harleys these days, but it seems her movie version should mean massive crossover to pop-icon status. What say you?
DB: Just as Ben and Gal [Gadot] were the breakaway stars regardless of the audience reaction to “BvS,” I think Margot’s Harley Quinn is the star of this next step in the DC Cinematic universe — and considering that we’re being introduced to a new Joker in this film, that’s no small task. We’ve never had a live-action movie Harley, and she’s being judged by fanboys and girls who grew up with the legendary Harley Quinn from “Batman: The Animated Series,” so there are lots of eyes on this performance.
Margot’s Harley is definitely in her own world and should provide a lot of laughs. I’m practically giddy to see her and Jared Leto’s Joker side by side. I love the part in the trailer when you here the Joker’s laugh and she stops and says, “Uh-oh.” There’s a history here between them. And from what we’ve seen in released photos, we’ll get a look at Harley before and after the Joker leaves his mark, which means this role has some range for Margot.
If the Joker is, well, the Joker card, Harley could be the ace up Warner Bros./DC’s sleeve.
MC: So far this year, the two big superhero hits have veered from the cheeky meta-joking antihero that is “Deadpool” to the grim, mostly humorless grave somberness that is “Batman v Superman.” Between those two poles, where do you think “Suicide Squad” will ultimately fall?
DB: Just as “Rogue One” is a chance for the “Star Wars” universe to stray from the blockbuster-movie template and try a different tone and style, that’s the same thing “Suicide Squad” has a chance to do. “Deadpool” made a name for itself by not being predictable, but the key to that was [the filmmakers] had the right character to make that happen. That’s what DC/WB has a chance to do. There are no capes flapping in the wind here, and these aren’t a group of heroes. So it shouldn’t feel like the standard superhero cinematic experience — not that there’s anything wrong with that. We love those types of movies, too, when they’re done right. But here’s hoping “Suicide Squad” can succeed in being dark, different and funny at the same time.
MC: Speaking of “Rogue One” alongside superhero cinema: We were hungry to see Darth Vader in this month’s teaser trailer for the former, and we’ve glimpsed “Suicide Squad’s” darkly helmeted and caped knight. But will we see Henry Cavill’s Superman — since his name is invoked in the trailer — at all?
DB: They probably have one more trailer in them before “Suicide Squad” hits theaters in August. We’ve seen Batfleck in action even carrying Harley Quinn, but we’ve yet to hear that technologically enhanced Bat-voice. If I’m WB/DC, I don’t play that card. … Batfleck’s appearances in this movie could just be Joker flashbacks, and we could have a “nightmare” scene or two as we had in “BvS.” …
As for Superman, that’s a good question. When does this “Suicide Squad” take place? Is Superman dead in this timeline? That will be interesting to see.