Sci-Fi Fridays, Episode 37: Casting Suggestions for DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’

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In honor of the recently announced DC movie lineup, I’ve decided to offer up come casting suggestions for 2016’s Suicide Squad despite the knowledge that some A-list names have been circulating the project already. Who knows, maybe WB will have a change of heart. Anyways, here are some casting options I am throwing to the internet wind, hoping something might stick. Behold the potential “Suicide Squad” below…

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Lorraine Toussaint as Amanda Waller – The overseer of the famed “Suicide Squad” requires a strong, aggressive, calculating, no-nonsense actor to play her. I don’t think there’s a better fit for Amanda Waller out there than Lorraine Toussaint, who has consistently wowed us with her ability to command a scene by doing very little. It’s the specificity of Toussaint’s movements, expressions and voice which allows her to absorb the character on the page and transform them into a fully realized individual standing before our eyes. Watching her work in Middle of Nowhere and Orange is the New Black was a total privilege, and it’s only a matter of time until Toussaint gets acknowledged as one of the greatest screen actors working today. I’ve always been a fan of Amanda Waller’s cutthroat yet logical worldviews; she has one of the toughest jobs in the world: doing whatever it takes for the greater good, even at the expense of the soul. Toussaint can show the humanity locked within that cold, seemingly impenetrable wall Waller puts up, giving dimension to a woman who can’t afford one when all eyes are on her. Hopefully Warner Bros won’t pass up the great opportunity to cast Toussaint as the imposing yet highly intelligent Amanda Waller.

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Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke/Slade Wilson – Since the DC Cinematic Universe is no longer affiliated with its television counterparts, I’m unable to suggest that Manu Bennett continue playing the bloodthirsty Deathstroke/Slade Wilson. I can, however, make a case for Joe Manganiello as the skilled assassin/mercenary with a penchant for carnal violence. Manganiello’s past work as a werewolf in True Blood makes him the right fit for someone who fights with animalistic aggression and whose rage cannot easily subside. I also think Manganiello has the range to show a softer side to Slade, one that’s rare yet occasionally present in the various iterations of his character.

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Margot Robbie or Juno Temple as Harley Quinn – The reason why I’m including the two actresses is because A) Margot is rumored to be in talks for the film, which means B) she’s likely playing everyone’s favorite feisty blonde with unstoppable exuberance, Harley Quinn. Margot Robbie isn’t the worst casting decision, although I think the character is so much more than their affected Brooklyn accent. She’s playful, sinister, and shows real empathy and loyalty toward those she considers close friends: The Joker and her fellow members of the Suicide Squad. Watching her performance in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, I knew Juno Temple would be the perfect Harley Quinn if ever Hollywood decided to feature a live action version of her. Temple’s knack for juggling drama and humor, not to mention squeezing the juice out of that iconic east coast accent, made me realize her breakthrough role is just a superhero film away…from The Dark Knight Rises, that is (which takes place in an alternate universe than the one Man of Steel established). Audition unseen, my pick would be the diversely talented Juno Temple, but perhaps Warner Bros will convince me that Margot Robbie is the right casting choice after all…

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Ethan Embry as Deadshot/Floyd Lawton – This role is probably going to Ryan Gosling since Floyd Lawton is the closest thing to a generic “everyman” you’ll find in the richly diverse “Suicide Squad.” I’d like to pitch a relative unknown, someone who has been in the business for a very long time now but hasn’t really struck gold and deserves a breakout role. Ethan Embry was in two well-received indie films this past year, Cheap Thrills and The Guest, and demonstrated a knack for providing audiences with sympathetic feelings toward the truly disreputable. In both films he plays men we should unquestionably despise, but due to the way Embry handles his scenes, he winds up converting us to his cause, as detestable as it may be. This is what makes Deadshot such an enigmatic villain – he’s merciless and downright despicable but he also has reasons behind every life he takes, every mission he takes on. I truly believe if Warner Bros took a chance on someone like Embry, they’d be blown away by the guy’s range. If Chris Pratt has proven anything, it’s that you need to cast for the character and not for the viewership at large.

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Rosamund Pike as Killer Frost/Louise Lincoln – You know what they always say: strike while the iron is hot. Well in this instance, Rosamund Pike needs to strike while the iron is cold since I’m hopeful she’ll be cast as the ice-conjuring supervillainess Killer Frost. Unless she’s up against her arch nemesis Firestorm, Frost couldn’t care less about who she murders so long as it’s purposeful and without scrutiny. She’s one of “Suicide Squad’s” most reliable members precisely because she has little regard for sensitivity, something that provides her with strength even though it holds her back from being relatable to the masses. I hope Pike can come in and work her magic like she did in both Gone Girl and Die Another Day (the latter role also had her play a character whose surname was Frost) and give us another uncompromising femme fatale creation with an ironic edge.

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Josh Holloway as Captain Boomerang/George Harkness – He’s known for playing Southern scoundrels despite being Northern California bred, so why not have Holloway use his roguish charms again whilst sporting a thick Australian accent as Captain Boomerang? This character is no walk in the park, throwing insults and cutting remarks as much as does his handy dandy weapons of choice. I’m confident Holloway can nail down this character’s arrogance and utter rudeness to a T, though I do hope to see some shades of grey in Holloway’s portrayal of such a broadly designed character if he were to take him on.

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Tom Hardy as Blockbuster or Killer Shark or…Bane (AGAIN!) – Depending on which “brute strength” villain they decide to include in the upcoming Suicide Squad film, Tom Hardy – rumored to be in talks for a role – would make the perfect Blockbuster or Killer Shark, or simply reprise his role as Bane. All he needs to do is beef up, give a war cry or many, and look convincing beating up a bunch of people and, voila, perfect casting. It goes without saying I’m not a huge fan of Hardy “the great actor” that everyone seems to think he is, but as a bulky supervillain that’s there to look scary as hell? Sure, I’m all for it.

 

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Will Smith or Nate Parker as Black Spider or Bronze Tiger – Like the aforementioned post, the character in question is up in the air but the casting isn’t much of an issue. Will Smith could definitely fill the A-list shoes for either Black Spider or Bronze Tiger (according to the negotiations reported), but I hope the up-and-coming Nate Parker is given the chance to shine and really take hold of a mainstream audience. He’s got likability for days but isn’t opposed to playing villainous when called upon (see: Non-Stop). I also firmly believe Parker has the maturity to successfully handle characters with seedy, morally questionable backgrounds that now have an outlet for their anger and frustration. Parker showed real promise as in actor in 2012’s Arbitrage and seems on the precipice of true stardom. Please, Warner Bros, give this man a chance!

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Danai Gurira as Vixen – Most notable for heroically plowing down zombies in The Walking Dead as Michonne, actress Danai Gurira really made an impression on me in two films I’ve seen from auteur filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu: Restless City and Mother of George. In both feature films, Gurira showcases a plethora of emotions that come from a totally believable, genuine place. I don’t need much convincing when Gurira walks into the frame – her face alone betrays her inner thoughts, fears, pain and desire to overcome. Vixen would give Gurira the platform to show the world what she is capable of, hopefully leading to more complex roles worthy of her talents. What’s so special about Vixen is that she’s the only member of the “Suicide Squad” who isn’t a supervillain; in fact the character’s fought crime alongside bigwigs like Superman and Aquaman in the heralded “Justice League.” Her involvement with “Suicide Squad” offers a lot of intriguing possibilities in movie form: what were the circumstances that led her to become involved with some of the most dangerous villains in DC lore, and what is her place in this squad? I sincerely cannot wait to find out if indeed DC does decide to bring this fan-favorite character to the big screen.

Well readers, now I turn it to you. Share some casting suggestions for DC’s upcoming “Suicide Squad,” slated to land in theaters August 5th, 2016.