It’s been a hectic week at Warner Bros when it comes to their DC Films with some terrific casting announcements and ends with a trailer for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
It’s obviously coincident that WB did all this couple of days after the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but they’ve had a battle with fans and the Restore The SnyderVerse hashtag and especially after the Ann Sarnoff Variety interview.
It’s hard to understand why they wouldn’t want their cake (the theatrical DCEU movies) and eat it (Snyderverse on HBO Max). They can please everyone by getting more eyes on their streaming service and property.
I’ve talked about Restoring The SnyderVerse, and you can read here for more.
Sarnoff is right, the future is bright at DC, and this week proves it; it’s just they’ve gotten more excitement if they held off to give the Snyder cut a full week/10 days before making these announcements.
Emerald Fennell Is Writing The Zatanna Movie
The week began with this excellent get for WB/DC. Following the critical response and Oscar nomination for Promising Young Woman, Fennell is tasked to pen the big-screen adaptation of the DC heroine, Zatanna.
Zatanna is a magician but is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the DC Universe, with her magical abilities coming genetically from her father, Giovanni Zatara. She’s also a major character in the Justice League Dark corner of the comics.
The film, which Variety states will be a theatrical release, will be produced under J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, who is developing everything within the JLD banner. I won’t be surprised if the other two top members, Swamp Thing and John Constantine also go to the big screen.
The hiring comes following Fennell’s Promising Young Woman being one of this year’s awards darling with five Oscar nods, including Best Picture, Screenplay and Carey Mulligan for Actress. As well as nominations from Golden Globes, BAFTA, Directors and Writers Guilds of American.
It does make me wonder why they didn’t give the British filmmaker/actress the duo job of writer-director, but maybe they have someone else in mind or waiting till the script is written before announcing she’ll be helming her first big tentpole.
No one has been cast yet, but I fully expect to see an actress of Italian descent, Latina or woman of colour in the role, which it should as the character has never been a white woman, especially in the adaptions into the animated films.
Additionally, I see this being an (if everything goes well and successful) step stone for Fennell to work on a top tier heroine like Batgirl or Supergirl, maybe Wonder Woman 3 with Patty Jenkins. Alternatively, reteaming with Margot Robbie (who produced PYW under her LuckyChap production company) for a Harley Quinn adventure.
Helen Mirren Joins Shazam! Sequel As Villain
The casting news kicked off on Tuesday when it was revealed the great Helen Mirren had joined Shazam!: Fury of the Gods as the villain Hespera, the daughter of Atlas.
This will be Mirren’s first role in a superhero flick, which is mental considering her legacy and is joining fellow newbie Rachel Zegler (who is starring in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story), and they’ll be playing sisters.
The Hollywood Reporter went on to add “who both may or may not be of ill intent,” which could mean they might be going the Hamlet route, but to do that they need a third sister.
David F. Sandberg returns to direct with the script written by Henry Gayden. Zachary Levi joins them as the adult superhero of Billy Batson (Asher Angel).
I love this casting as it follows my thoughts that British Shakespearian actors should play Greek gods in DC as previously we had David Thewlis as Ares in 2017s Wonder Woman.
What was also delightful about this announcement was the reaction of Mirren’s co-star Zegler losing her shit on Twitter.
Ron Livingston Replaces Billy Crudup As The Flash’s Father & More Casting For The Upcoming Film
After Billy Crudup had to leave The Flash due to scheduling conflicts with Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, Warner Bros and the film’s director Andy Muschietti didn’t waste that much time finding a replacement in Ron Livingston, reveleaed by Variety.
But he wasn’t the only announcement with Ian Loh joining as young Barry Allen, internet star Rudy Mancuso and, easily my favourite piece of this news, Derry Girls star Saoirse-Monica Jackson are also joining the film.
I love Derry Girls, and Jackson is a wonderful actress with great comic timing, which makes me believe her role won’t be that big as she’ll be Iris West’s (Kiersey Clemons) best friend or could be a villain in the form of Golden Glider.
They join the already announced Maribel Verdú as Barry’s mother Nora Allen, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, we’re getting two Batman (from different dimensions) in Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton. However, the latter has hovered a question mark about appearing using some BS about the UK’s Covid situation, and Clemons, as mentioned above, returns as West.
I will admit I’m bummed out they had to recast the Henry role because Crudup does such a great job opposite Ezra Miller in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and would’ve loved to see their chemistry grow.
Pierce Brosnan Is Dr Fate in Black Adam opposite Dwayne Johnson
BOND FANS UNITE!! As former 007, Brosnan is attached to his first significant action role since hanging up the tux nearly 20 years ago and playing Dr Fate is cracking casting.
The character was the final piece in the Justice Society puzzle for the New Line project and like Mirren marks Brosnan’s first role in a superhero movie.
The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the story, states the Irish actor will play Kent Nelson, the good Dr Fate who’s the son of an archaeologist and was taught sorcery and given a magical helmet.
No more details about the film have been revealed, but he joins Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone and Atom Smasher, played by Noah Centineo. No info about who The Old Guard and Aladdin star Marwan Kenzari will likely be playing the villain.
While I am excited to see Black Adam and the cast that has been brought together is awesome, I’m sure plenty of the cast and crew will freak when Bond steps onto the set.
I just think Dr Fate should’ve played by an actor who’s Middle Eastern. The film set in a fictional country in the region, and if you’re modernising the movie with a black Hawkman, Nielson could’ve also been a person of colour.
Randy McKinnon To Write Static Shock Movie
WB/DC continues to build to the future as The Hollywood Reporter revealed the studio has found a writer for their massively popular Milestone Comics character Static Shock in Randy McKinnon.
McKinnon, who recently wrote Disney+’s American football drama Saftey, will be teaming up with Reginald Hudlin, who directed Safety, who’s producing the feature adaptation of the cult DC hero with Michael B. Jordan via his Outlier Society production.
The project centres on Static, who first appeared in his headline comic in 1993, through the Milestone Comics title. Milestone is home for black writers and artist to create black superheroes and distributed through DC.
It wasn’t until the animated series that Virgil Hawkins became popular in the mainstream, joining part of the DC Comics Universe in 2008.
THR state the project has got an urgency at the studio due to the heavy-hitting producers backing it and being the start of a cinematic universe centring around black superheroes.
The First Of The Suicide Squad Is Released
To end the week on a high for DC, they unveiled the first trailer for this summers, The Suicide Squad.
There’s a lot to like about the film from the style of a 70s war film, and director James Gunn going in hard on that and adding his tone of humour.
Character-wise it looks like we’re going to get another fun Harley Quinn performance from Margot Robbie and more in line with the animated series and I think my favourite character will be Idris Elba’s Bloodsport.
Because it seems to be either another leader, alongside Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg or be his General with Harley, but has a major Roger Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon vibe about him.
Like he’ll do his mission and do it well but is so sick of this shit and dealing with these villains. That moment with David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man did make me laugh out loud.
Another character that made me and was the star of the trailer is King Shark. I love Sylvester Stallone is voicing the character and the fact he’s ripping and eating people, also hand. It’s clear they’re going with the comic route with the character like the Harley Quinn animated series.
While I do love King Shark, I do have my issues. It begins with the CGI making him look like a balloon, but my biggest worry is Gunn has gone the Groot route making him a character that says a word every time.
The trailer shows off my main worry about the film as a whole as it just looks like an R-rated Guardians of the Galaxy. The only thing the studio has learned from 2016’s Suicide Squad was that if David Ayer couldn’t do the Guardians vibe, just get the director of Guardians to do it instead.
What’s concerning is the lack of Captain Boomerang as he’s with a completely different team with Flagg. It’s clear this is a team that dies (minus Flagg) right at the beginning to set up the team we’ll see in the film.
I don’t understand why you’d do that. I know the whole thing about Suicide Squad is no one is safe, but Jai Courtney was great in the 2016 film, so I’m hoping he just doesn’t go on this mission and is a surprise back-up for later in the movie.
You can check out the trailer, if you haven’t seen it already, and see what you think.