Warner Bros. has begun development on DC Comics’ Suicide Squad—not, as it turns out, the new, appropriately somber title for Justice League, in which Batman, Superman et. al finally succumb to the bottomless depression of being a superhero. Rather, it’s an altogether separate property that’s been rumored as in development for several years now, recently picking up steam under director David Ayer. Variety reports that Ayer is the studio’s top choice for the adaptation, which will be “dark and edgy” even by the usual standards for people in capes hopping around and punching other people with silly names.
Suicide Squad focuses on a group of supervillains who are given the chance at redemption by undertaking doomed missions (sort of like a comic-book spin on the Eddie Murphy comedy 48 Hrs., with Nick Nolte replaced by a lovably irascible government). Ayers has done similar movies about gangs of guys in dangerous situations, writing Training Day and directing End Of Watch, Sabotage, and the upcoming Fury, making him an appropriate fit for a project that promises to be gritty and joyless, even by comic-book movie standards. Reportedly the screenplay is the same one commissioned from Top Gun 2 writer Justin Marks back in 2009, and while its villain lineup has yet to be named, team mainstay Deadshot seems to be a given—thanks both to his cool, super-assassin powers and bleak family back story.
There is obviously no word yet on whether Suicide Squad will link to Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, though its story of desperate supervillains resigned to killing themselves seems way too lighthearted for that movie.