‘We’re bad guys. It’s what we do.’ – Harley Quinn
Tuesday night kicked off ‘DC Week’, in which Warner Brothers and DC celebrate the release of new footage for their cinematic universe and the CW brings back it’s superhero staples (The Flash and Arrow), as well as introducing a new show into its weekly lineup (Legends of Tomorrow). During the ‘Dawn of the Justice League’ special that aired on the CW Tuesday, the hosts – filmmaker super-nerd Kevin Smith and the Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics Geoff Johns – unveiled the debut of the first official trailer for Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer (the trailer released in July was Comic-Con footage that wasn’t meant as an official trailer).
Suicide Squad is based off a DC Comics property that forms a team of super-villains to carry out suicidal missions on behalf of the government. Amanda Waller (played the Viola Davis) puts together a task force of people that the general public doesn’t care for in any positive light, so their lives are expendable and their missions often impossible. Normally super-villains have their own agendas and wouldn’t do missions for the government, but Waller often gives them incentive by implanting bombs in their heads and hitting the detonator should they refuse to comply.
Set to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the Suicide Squad trailer shows a ton of never-before-seen footage and gives more background on the team. Led by military officer Rick Flagg (Joel Kinneman), the assembly of villains includes Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), The Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Katana (Karen Fukuhara) and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). The greatest puzzle piece in this film, however, looks to be Jared Leto’s Joker and this trailer gives us a better sense of how the Academy Award winner will portray the ‘Clown Prince of Crime’.
It seems as though Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker will be more in keeping with the legendary comic book villain than was originally thought when the first image of a tattooed psychopath was released. Joker is seen laying in a massive circle of knives, firing an assault rifle with a maniacal smile, and, perhaps most importantly, embracing Harley Quinn in a vat of liquid that seems to hint at how Dr. Harleen Quinzel becomes Joker’s ‘puddin’. In Batman: The Animated Series, Dr. Quinzel is introduced as Joker’s psychiatrist and becomes enamored with him, ultimately going crazy and falling madly in love with him. It was hinted in the Comic-Con footage that Suicide Squad would show how Joker transforms Harley (through torture), but this trailer may show the culmination of that with the vat scene – a scene that’s reminiscent of Joker’s generally agreed upon origin story, although most agree that it’s better he doesn’t have an origin story.
In the trailer Rick Flagg narrates what superpowers or attributes each member of the squad has, which helps expand the DC Entertainment Universe (DCEU) further. Man of Steel introduced this universe’s version of Superman (played by Henry Cavill), while Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will introduce Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and a few other characters that will help form the Justice League. Those movies are gritty and Superman has a plethora of powers that triumph the real-world basis of Batman. However, with the introduction of Katana’s sword that steals souls and the Enchantress’ situation of being possessed by a witch, the DCEU will get a little weirder – taking away some of the storytelling handcuffs this universe had previously been restrained to.
The reaction to this trailer has been extremely positive so far, and for good reason. It’s a fun trailer that fans of the comics are sure to love, while fans of action movies can easily get excited about the film. The legendary melodies of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ don’t hurt, either.
Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5, 2016 and the trailer has been embedded at the start of this article.