Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

As DC Comics continues to (successfully) bleed the smothering darkness from its lame slate of comic book adaptations, here comes news that Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn could lend his whimsical approach to Warner Bros.’s Suicide Squad sequel. News of Gunn’s involvement was first reported back in October, when it was revealed he would write the script. Now, along with a number of other enticing details, The Hollywood Reporter is making it sound like he’s a lock for the director’s chair.

That news is especially exciting in light of Gunn’s rocky 2018, which saw him fired from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 after a bad-faith campaign led by right-wing grifters (and mainstreamed by ding-dongs like Ted Cruz) resurfaced some of the director’s gross-out joke tweets from 2008, when he was working in the splattery Troma-verse. What’s also exciting is that Gunn’s vision—titled The Suicide Squad—is reportedly not a direct sequel to David Ayer’s exhausting original, but rather a “relaunch.”

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“Sources say that Gunn’s focus is to take the franchise in a new direction with a mostly all-new cast of characters and actors,” THR writes. “Sources also say that the project is also very much rooted in Gunn’s vibe, as seen in the Guardians movies.”

It makes sense, as Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn-focused Birds Of Prey looks to exist in a lighter, more subversive universe than that of Suicide Squad. One can assume she’ll return for the relaunch, which also, unfortunately, means we’re probably stuck with Jared Leto’s “damaged” Joker, what with the pair set to undergo couple’s counseling in another potential spin-off. As for Will Smith and the rest of the Squad? Ditch ‘em, we say. Hell, you’ve got Dave Bautista waiting in the wings.

The Suicide Squad is slated for a release date of August 2021.

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