Mike Gold: Committing Suicide
So now we’ve got most of the Suicide Squad movie cast – Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg (who probably won’t be turning into Bane), Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Jared Leto as The Joker and maybe – just maybe – Oprah Winfrey as Amanda Waller. Jai Courtney will be playing Captain Boomerang, not to be confused with Nick Tarabay, who plays the part on the Arrow and Flash teevee series.
Warner Bros’ dedication to the complete separation of television and movies is why they’ve been the go-to studio for such great superhero movies as Catwoman, all but the first two Superman movies (and only half of the second), the third and fourth Batman movies, Steel, Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, and, oh yeah, the theatrical version of Constantine. Maybe Tarabay’s Boomerang will take a vacation from the Flash and Arrow shows (et al) around the time of the Suicide Squad movie, but the actorectomy will still annoy the faithful… as will the different Flash and Green (or not) Arrow performers. It is the faithful who now drive the bus. Our hyper-excited word-of-mouth makes for nine figure opening weekends.
They can change Amanda Waller performers all they want. They’ll never run out of black actors, and thus far they’ve employed so many in the role they can fill all the empty seats at New York Jets games.
In fact, I’m very pleased to see the Suicide Squad getting the big-budget treatment. It’s a good concept, one that came out of the Legends series I named and edited. This version was created by ComicMix columnist and massively talented writer John Ostrander, who also created the aforementioned Ms. Waller. And for the record, ComicMix reviewer Bob Greenberger edited that book. So expect to see the ComicMix crew at the mandatory night-before screenings.
I’m not the only person who has raised the question of how much is too much. I can’t fault Hollywood for Hulking-out on a fad: that is what Hollywood does. Can the market support all this? Even if the “product” is uniformly great – and good luck with that – there’s only so much of one thing to go around. I just hope we get excellent Wonder Woman and Doctor Strange flicks.
Warner Bros. must learn the lesson that has worked so well, so fantastically well, for Disney’s Marvel Studios. They must respect the source material and they must show that respect on the screen at all times. It’s not good enough to simply have wonderful CG – we get that on Doctor Who. It’s not good enough to have name actors. You have to play the material for the faithful – establish your characters and treat them sympathetically.
Of course they’re creating their own reality. We do that all the time. But to quote another ComicMix columnist, Dennis O’Neil, “sure it’s phony science – but it’s our phony science.”
When it comes to writing from the sense of wonder, truer words were never spoken.