James Gunn, writer and director of the hit Guardians of the Galaxy films was fired from the franchise by Disney this summer. Fans have been curious as to what his next big project would be, and it looks like he may be joining the other team. We have some news and some ideas on what this may mean for the future of the DC film Universe.
The Wrap broke the news yesterday that Gunn would be writing the script and possibly directing the sequel to DC’s Suicide Squad. Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant) was in talks to direct the sequel, but when DC decided to greenlight a Birds of Prey film with a similar story to O’Connor’s take, he departed the sequel. Gunn proved with the Guardians films for Marvel that he has the ability to take a C-list level team and make them blockbuster worthy, so having him involved in Suicide Squad is a huge win for DC. But the most interesting aspect of this is what it could mean for the future of DC.
Fans have asked Gunn repeatedly over the years what DC character he would want to make a film with and he’s always had one single answer: Cassandra Cain/Batgirl. There’s a chance this will all be leading to that, but it’s a complex situation. Follow us here. In the comics Cassandra Cain was the mute daughter of assassin David Cain. Bruce Wayne took her under his wing and let her take on the mantle of Batgirl for a number of years. Her version of Batgirl was actually the first version of the character to ever be featured in her own solo comic.
DC’s strategy in recent years had been to sign a director to one film, then work with them to develop other material. Christopher Nolan started the trend with developing the story for Man of Steel while working on The Dark Knight Rises. Then Zach Snyder developed the story for Wonder Woman while working on Batman v. Superman. Then David Ayer began developing a Harley Quinn Spinoff with Margot Robbie while they worked on Suicide Squad. That film has seemingly become Birds of Prey.
Birds of Prey is based on the comic series of the same name. In the comics the team is usually made up of Barbara Gordon/Oracle, Huntress, and Black Canary. Occasionally other DC heroines have shown up and joined the team. The upcoming film is set to feature Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Detective Rene Montoya, and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. There’s been a lot of talk that Cassandra Cain would play into the story, with the superhero team potentially saving her from the villain Black Mask.
DC/WB previously worked with Joss Whedon on developing a Batgirl film. Whedon came on to help rewrite and finalize directing duties of Justice League and it was essentially indicated that they gave him Batgirl as a, “thanks for your help.” Whedon left the project after the failure of justice League, and there hasn’t been any major development on the Batgirl solo film since then.
Where does that leave us now? James Gunn is writing Suicide Squad 2 which will come after Birds of Prey. Birds of Prey will feature Cassandra Cain, a character Gunn loves and wants to make a solo feature with. If Suicide Squad 2 and Birds of Prey work out, Gunn can helm a Batgirl film featuring Cassandra Cain after Birds of Pray and Suicide Squad 2. And everyone comes out happy.
Will it happen? Maybe. Will DC mess things up and have to restructure everything in a year or two? Possibly. Are we excited for whatever James Gunn has planned next? Definitely. We’ll keep you updated on everything concerning Suicide Squad 2, Birds of Prey, and the Batgirl film as more news comes out.
Written by Alex Lancaster
(Alex is a life long film fan, and has dedicated his life to watching, making and obsessing over films. His favorite film is Big Fish, and he despises Avatar. He has a 4 year old son. And a bad habit of saying more than he needs to. Follow @alex5348 on Twitter)