What DC Comics characters will make up the team in James Gunn’s upcoming soft reboot The Suicide Squad? Originally created in 1959 as an elite military unit tasked with near-impossible missions, the nickname of Task Force X was appropriated by writer John Ostrander in 1987 for an entirely different series centered around a new Suicide Squad, made up of conscripted super-villains kept in line with explosive implants. The series became famous for its dark humor and high body count, with death a real possibility even for seemingly untouchable characters.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is currently overseeing production of a new Suicide Squad movie and recently confirmed a list of 24 actors tied to the project. Strangely, Gunn did not confirm any of the rumors as to which characters several of these actors might be playing. Indeed, one day after posting his list, Gunn said that it would be some time before he officially announced any character details, and suggested that several of the rumored casting details are wrong. It is safe to say, however, that no member of the cast should be presumed to survive the whole movie, as Gunn also warned fans, “Don’t get too attached.”
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It seems that Gunn intends to stay true to the spirit of the comic as written by John Ostrander, and may rack up a considerable kill-count before The Suicide Squad is over. Yet the question remains as to which characters will make up the new Suicide Squad. Here is our rundown of Gunn’s confirmed cast, which actors are returning from the first Suicide Squad movie, what characters are rumored to be in the sequel and our best guesses as to the roles being played by the newly announced actors.
Character: Polka-Dot Man (Rumored)
A self-described comics geek who has already spoken to the press about the research he’s putting into his role, David Dastmalchian has considerable experience in comic book movies. His first major film role was as one of the Joker’s thugs in The Dark Knight and he went on to play characters in Ant-Man, Gotham and The Flash. The buzz is that Dastmalchian is playing the Polka-Dot Man – a C-List Batman villain, who stores the amazing technology he utilized for his crimes on his body as a series of expandable dots.
Character: Peacemaker (Speculated)
Star of WWE and thousands of memes based around his intro music, John Cena is one of the best known professional wrestlers of the 21st Century. He was most recently seen in Bumblebee and is currently filming Fast and the Furious 9. Frequently cast as soldier characters since his first major role in The Marine, Cena seems to be a shoe-in for the role of The Peacekeeper – a super-soldier character said to love peace so much he will kill for it, who is rumored to be one of the new characters appearing in The Suicide Squad.
Character: Captain Boomerang (Confirmed)
Much like the boomerangs his character wields so masterfully, Australian actor Jai Courtney is returning to the role of George “Digger” Harkness, which he played in the first Suicide Squad movie. In the original Suicide Squad comics, Captain Boomerang was depicted as the lowest of the low – a coward and a killer who repented nothing. Despite this, he somehow managed not to have an “accident” in the field, despite his teammates being sorely tempted to kill him on general principle.
Character: The Mayor (Speculated)
Perhaps best known outside of his native Mexico for playing General Medrano in the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace, Joaquín Cosío is an Ariel-Award winning actor with many years experience. He lent his voice to the Scorpion in Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse and will be appearing in Rambo: Last Blood. It is believed that he may have been cast in the villainous role of The Mayor, who is described as an “irascible old warrior who lives for war.”
Character: Booster Gold (Speculated)
A close friend and frequent collaborator of James Gunn, Nathan Fillion will be forever remembered for his role as Captain Malcolm Reynolds on the cult-hit space-Western Firefly. More recently, Fillion has lent his voice to Green Lantern Hal Jordan in a number of DC Comics animated movies, including The Death of Superman. Fillion has reportedly been lobbying for a chance to play the time-traveling superhero Booster Gold for years and it seems likely that Gunn may indulge his friend’s whim, if only in a brief cameo.
Character: Col. Rick Flag Jr. (Confirmed)
A Swedish actor who first found international fame in the AMC series The Killing, Joel Kinnaman has gone on to an impressive career in action movies and dramatic television. He played the title role in the 2014 Robocop reboot and went on to play the role of Will Conway in House of Cards. Kinnaman will be appearing in The Suicide Squad as Col. Rick Flag, whom he played in the original Suicide Squad.
Character: Duchess/Lashina (Speculated)
First finding fame as a martial artist and fitness champion, actress Mayling Ng is best known for her role as the Amazon Orana in the 2017 Wonder Woman movie. While there is a rumor that Ng may be reprising her role as Orana in The Suicide Squad (there is a precedent for Amazons besides Diana leaving Themyscira and seeking service as mercenaries in Man’s World in the comics), it seems more likely that she may be cast as a different woman warrior. To that end, she would be wonderful in the role of Duchess – an amnesiac woman warrior from the original Suicide Squad comics, who was ultimately revealed as the New Gods’ Lashina.
Character: Sonar (Speculated)
First finding fame with a series of viral videos on YouTube, German actor/singer Flula Borg came into the mainstream with his performance as Pieter Kramer in Pitch Perfect 2. He has gone on lend his voice to many cartoons and appeared in many cult comedies, such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Good Place. Rumor has it he may only be playing a love interest of one of the squad members, but he’d be a good fit for the classic Green Lantern villain Sonar: a would-be European dictator who utilized sound-based gadgets in his crimes.
Character: Ragdoll (Speculated)
Sean Gunn has been making movies with his brother, James, for a long time, with his first professional acting role also being James’ first co-writing credit on a screenplay. The brothers have both come a long way since Tromeo and Juliet, however, and Sean Gunn is now most famous for his work as Kirk Gleason in Gilmore Girls and for playing Yondu’s sidekick, Kraglin, in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies (as well as providing on-set motion capture for Rocket Raccoon). Given that versatility, there are few characters Sean Gunn couldn’t play in The Suicide Squad. That being said, the super-flexible and super-disturbing Ragdoll seems like the sort of character Gunn could truly bring to life.
Juan Diego Botto
Character: Shade, The Changing Man (Speculated)
Part of a long line of Argentinian actors, Juan Diego Botto is a virtual unknown in the United States. That is beginning to change, however, thanks to his turn as the hitman Javier in the TNT drama Good Behavior. Nothing has been said about what role Botto is playing in The Suicide Squad, but he does bear a striking physical resemblance to the third incarnation of Rac Shade (aka The Changing Man) – an alien poet sent to Earth to stop a growing tide of madness from consuming the planet.
Character: Bronze Tiger’s Daughter (Speculated)
Storm Reid is most famous for playing the lead role of Meg in the 2018 film adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time. It has been confirmed that she will be playing the daughter of Idris Elba’s character in The Suicide Squad, but it hasn’t been confirmed precisely who that is. There aren’t any famous father/daughter pairings in the Suicide Squad comics, so it is likely Reid’s character will be an original creation.
Character: Multiplex (Speculated)
Best known for his work on Saturday Night Live and his dark sense of humor, Pete Davidson has also appeared in the movies The Dirt and What Men Want. There are no rumors as to who Davidson is playing, but his humor is a good match for that of James Gunn, so it is a safe bet he will do well, whatever the role. That being said, Davidson would be perfect for the role of Multiplex – a self-cloning supervillain, who could “die” several times to comedic effect over the course of the film or be employed as Amanda Waller’s one-man office staff, as he was in the comics.
Character: The Ventriloquist (Speculated)
One of the hottest creative minds in Hollywood today, Taika Waititi is a triple threat as an actor, writer and director. His upcoming dark comedy, Jojo Rabbit, is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2019 and his Thor: Love and Thunder is probably the most eagerly awaited of the Phase 4 MCU films. Like Sean Gunn, he’s a gifted mocap actor and would excel in any role he was cast in. Yet of all the many possibilities across the range of the DC Universe, the one that seems most fitting is that of a modernized Ventriloquist – a role that would fully take advantage of Waititi’s gift for voices and accents.
Character: Black Orchid (Speculated)
First finding fame in her native Brazil in films like City of God, Alice Braga became an international star playing opposite Will Smith in 2007’s I Am Legend. Since then, she has gone on to the starring role of Teresa Mendoza in the USA Network’s crime drama Queen of the South. Looking at the classic Suicide Squad line-up from the comics and her past experiences, Braga seems like an ideal candidate for the role of Black Orchid – a mysterious heroine with a variety of powers, conflicting origin stories and a connection to The Green – the mystic force that connects all plant life in the DC Comics universe.
Character: King Shark (Rumored)
A frequent collaborator of Sarah Silverman and a gifted stand-up comedian, Steve Agee is perhaps best known for his role as Isaac in Superstore. He’s also worked repeatedly with James Gunn, having appeared in Brightburn and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. While Agee has yet to be officially confirmed to be providing the voice for King Shark, the character was confirmed as being in the movie and Agee’s casting was announced in connection with that role.
Character: Vixen (Speculated)
Born in Zimbabwe, Tinashe Kajese lived in Kenya and the United Kingdom before traveling to the United States for college. It was here that she would decide to become an actress and go on to a productive career on Broadway before moving to Los Angeles to break into television and film. She is perhaps most famous for her role as Mae Haskins on the CW drama Valor. Looking at the classic comics, Kajese seems a solid choice for the role of the animal-mimicking Vixen, whose home nation of Zambesi was modeled on Zimbabwe.
Character: Ratcatcher (Rumored)
While well-known as an actress in her native Portugal, Daniela Melchior is a virtual unknown internationally. Rumor has it that she will be playing a gender-flipped version of the Ratcatcher – a former exterminator with a natural affinity for rats, who became one of Batman’s strangest villains. It should be noted, however, that this is only a rumor and only Melchior’s casting in The Suicide Squad has been confirmed – not her role.
Character: Multi-Man (Speculated)
Peter Capaldi is best known internationally for playing the 12th incarnation of The Doctor on Doctor Who. When his casting in The Suicide Squad was announced, Capaldi let two details slip regarding his character – he’s completely bald, and the role will require some prosthetics. Based on this, it seems likely that Capaldi will be playing Multi-Man, a DC Comics villain who was bald with pointed ears, who possessed a strange form of immortality that caused him to be reborn with a single superpower every time that he died. The irony of having an actor best known for playing an alien character famous for regenerating after every death may prove too much for James Gunn to resist.
Character: Egghead (Speculated)
Despite his relative inexperience, Julio Ruiz has built an impressive resume in a short time. He was most recently seen in S.W.A.T. and had a memorable turn as the Big Wasted Dude in the Preacher episode “Damsels.” It’s hard to predict what role Ruiz might have been cast in, but a modernized take on the Batman villain Egghead might be eggs-actly what The Suicide Squad needs.
Character: Nightshade (Speculated)
First appearing in a number of low-budget horror movies, Jennifer Holland would graduate to a more upscale style of horror, playing Nurse Blackwell in American Horror Story. She’s also famous for her work as Becky Phillips in Sun Records. Given her girl-next-door good looks and her experience in dealing with the disturbing, Holland seems a natural pick for the role of the superheroine Nightshade. One of the Suicide Squad’s few heroic members in the comics, Nightshade possesses the power to manipulate shadows and access a dark dimension known as the Land of Nightshades.
Character: Amanda Waller (Confirmed)
While comics fans had many problems with the first Suicide Squad movie, few had any complaints about Viola Davis’ performance as Amanda Waller. Most believe Davis perfectly captured the ruthless attitude of the woman known as “The Wall,” who spearheaded the effort to revive Task Force X as a means of press-ganging supervillains into the service of the US Government. Davis has been confirmed to be returning to play Waller in The Suicide Squad.
Character: Bronze Tiger (Rumored)
One of the most popular actors working today and a fan-favorite pick to play James Bond, Idris Elba has a long career of playing tough-guys on both sides of the law. His most famous television roles are drug lord Russell “Stringer” Bell on The Wire and Detective Chief Inspector John Luther in the BBC series Luther. Given his ability to play both sides of the fence with equal ease, it’s no wonder that Elba is believed to be playing the master martial artist Bronze Tiger, who has been both a superhero and an assassin in the comics.
Character: Harley Quinn (Confirmed)
Margot Robbie needs no introduction, having a successful career in film even before she was cast as Dr. Harleen Quinzel in the first Suicide Squad movie. Since then, Robbie has gone on to make a name for herself as a producer, managing both the Birds of Prey movie and now starting work on a new film adaptation of the Tank Girl comic book series. Despite her busy schedule, Robbie will be returning to play Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad.
Character: Manhunter/Privateer (Speculated)
Another favorite of James Gunn, Michael Rooker has a long career of playing tough guys and lunatics. Apart from his portrayal of Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Rooker is probably most famous for his work as Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead. Looking at the classic comics, Rooker seems like an easy cast for the role of Mark Shaw; a vigilante turned bounty hunter, who sold his services to the Suicide Squad, claiming he was only in it for the money. There was evidence, however, that something of Shaw’s idealism survived his transformation from the Manhunter into the Privateer and if there’s an actor capable of portraying a conflicted soldier who plays at being far worse than he truly is, it’s Michael Rooker.
More: James Gunn Says Suicide Squad Will Be Music-Heavy, But Different To Guardians
Key Release Dates
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
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