Ayer wrote and directed the first film, which made $746.8 million worldwide and actually picked up an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Critics ripped the film, and Ayer later said he wished he had done some things differently -- including making Jared Leto's Joker the main villain, and engineering "a more grounded story."
When it came time for DC/WB to decide on a sequel, they hired Gavin O'Connor for the job. But Variety's Justin Kroll recently said O'Connor pitched a script that's similar to the "Birds of Prey" movie, so he stepped away to focus on his next project.
DC/WB confirmed that James Gunn was hired to write the sequel, releasing a statement via the DC Daily webseries (via ComicBook):
"It’s official that we have got a new member of the DC family: acclaimed writer/director James Gunn has been attached to write Suicide Squad 2,” said host Tiffany Smith. “Gunn is poised to bring a completely fresh take to the franchise after the first film was written and directed by David Ayer."
Someone asked David Ayer what he thought about DC/WB hiring James Gunn -- who was famously fired by Disney for old offensive tweets, after writing three and directing two "Guardians of the Galaxy" films for Marvel Studios.
Ayer is a fan of the hire:
If you think he was being sarcastic -- or throwing shade -- he wasn't:
Now that we know James Gunn is officially on board for "Suicide Squad 2" -- at least as screenwriter -- stay tuned for more details as it plays out. Meanwhile, Ayer has a couple projects of his own lined up, including "Tax Collector" and "Bright 2."
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