Warner Bros. has tapped Michael De Luca to produce Suicide Squad 2 as their reorganization of the DC Extended Universe continues. The first Suicide Squad movie made plenty of money at the box office in 2016 but attracted mostly negative reviews despite its superstar cast and a well-received marketing campaign. Thanks to its financial success, however, a sequel was green-lit and it has since been suggested that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s interpretation of Black Adam will be making an appearance. Gavin O’Connor will be both penning and directing the follow-up.
Since the turn of the year, Warner Bros. have been having a shake-up at executive level, with the intention of simplifying their behind-the-scenes boardroom process of green-lighting and producing films and this has had a significant impact on the structure of the DCEU. Walter Hamada will be overseeing the studio’s DC output from now on, replacing Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, and Toby Emmerich is now chairman, reporting directly to CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
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These sweeping changes may have now filtered down to the production of one of Warner Bros.’ biggest forthcoming superhero releases, Suicide Squad 2. As reported by Variety, the studio has assigned Michael De Luca as producer on the project. This seems to fit with Warner Bros’ new “fewer cooks” approach by having one single figure in charge of each production.
The original Suicide Squad was produced by a team of executives, most of whom already had involvement with other DCEU movies. By contrast, De Luca is not only new to the franchise but has had mixed experiences in the realm of comic book movies as a whole, with credits on Blade II and both Ghost Rider movies to his name, as well as the ill-fated adaptation of Korean manhwa, Priest. De Luca is perhaps better known for producing movies such as The Social Network and Moneyball and more recently, has been busy working on the Razzie-winning Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. Make of that what you will.
While DC’s movie franchise – and Suicide Squad in particular – certainly has its supporters, it is perhaps fair to say that the series hasn’t been as successful as Warner Bros. would have hoped and the recent changes are no doubt partly intended to improve the fortunes of the studio’s superhero output. Bringing fresh faces in, rather than leaving everything down to the likes of Geoff Johns and Zack Snyder, may help to give each movie its own distinct personality and Michael De Luca is certainly an experienced name to have on board. However, given his patchy track record of bringing comic book characters to the big screen, some might consider the appointment a risk for Suicide Squad 2.
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