I’d like to start off by making it abundantly clear that I love just about everything Jaume Collet-Serra does. From Orphan to Non-Stop to The Shallows, the guy has proven himself to be one of the best action/thriller directors working today. The way he’s able to do so much with so little – whether that be a low-budget or a less-than-stellar screenplay – is something the rest of Hollywood could use a little more of, and you could imagine my excitement when it was announced that Collet-Serra is currently the frontrunner to direct Suicide Squad 2.
But, much like Biff Tannen, I couldn’t help but feel like there was something very familiar about all this. I remembered how excited I was to hear that David Ayer, another mid-budget director who I generally enjoy, would both write and direct the first Suicide Squad film, only to have the film ripped out from under him in post-production.
In my attempts to be less cynical, I’ll admit it’s entirely possible that DC has finally learned from their mistakes and is going to finally give at least some kind of autonomy to the filmmakers they bring on. Then I remembered that miracles don’t exist, so here’s what’s probably going to end up happening: the same exact thing that happened to David Ayer. Regardless of Collet-Serra’s talent, he’s not exactly Martin Scorsese in terms of notoriety. And it’s becoming clear that these studios are hiring directors people like, but refusing to let them do the things they’ve done to garner those audiences in the first place. Just look at the Han Solo movie, which recently lost two ridiculously talented directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The guys behind the rebooted 21 Jump Street franchise and The LEGO Movie were fired from the film and replaced by Ron Howard. If Lord and Miller aren’t immune to decisions like that, then Collet-Serra definitely isn’t.
And who knows? David Ayer is returning for the Gotham City Sirens movie with Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn. It’s possible that Wonder Woman really was a wake-up call for DC, or maybe Collet-Serra is the next in a long line of dynamic, creative filmmakers who had the souls sucked out of their films by studio executives. I was definitely more confident that DC would get a quality product when it was being reported that they’d been chasing Mel Gibson for the job, but Collet-Serra is an encouraging choice, as well.
Nobody wants Suicide Squad 2 to succeed more than me. It would be great to make a sequel so good that it effectively erases the original from our collective consciousness. If there is a version of the future where the characters from Suicide Squad could come together in a much better movie, that’s the future I want to live in. The first film was overflowing with squandered potential, and Jaume Collet-Serra is a filmmaker who could absolutely pull off a great sequel, but the real question is: will DC even let him?
Images: DC, Warner Bros.