A little over four months after it began, principal photography on The Suicide Squad is complete. This according to the film’s writer and director James Gunn, who took to Instagram to announce that production has now wrapped on the highly anticipated DC film—although his note is more heartbreaking than you might imagine.
Gunn shares in the message that his father died two weeks before filming began, and his dog Wesley Von Spears passed away two weeks before filming ended. Directing a massive DC Comics adaptation with a sprawling cast is hard enough in and of itself without also grieving through pretty much the entire process. But Gunn has nothing but gratitude for his cast and crew for what he calls “the most fulfilling time I’ve ever had making a movie.”
Gunn was given free reign to come in and write and direct a film adaptation of basically any DC property he wanted shortly after he was (briefly) removed from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Disney overreacted when some old, offensive tweets of Gunn’s were resurfaced in bad faith, and while Gunn eventually signed back on to write and direct the third Guardians movie, in that interim he agreed to first make a new Suicide Squad movie for Warner Bros. and DC.
The Suicide Squad isn’t a total reboot of David Ayer’s 2016 film, but we can rest assured that it is Gunn’s full vision. Returning from that cast are Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, but new additions include Idris Elba, John Cena, Nathan Fillion, David Dastmalchian, Peter Capaldi, Alice Braga, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, Taika Waititi, and many more.
We don’t know who these actors are playing, nor do we know the plot of the film, but Gunn has said that Harley Quinn plays a “major” role and it’ll be interesting to see if he returns to his R-rated roots with The Suicide Squad or if the film will be closer in tone to the Guardians movies.
Regardless, I can’t wait to see it, and I can’t fathom how hard this must have been for Gunn given the deaths that bookended the production. And kudos to Warner Bros. for allowing Gunn to shut down production of the film recently so he could fly home and be with his dog for Wesley’s final hours.
The Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 6, 2021.