Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, Non-Stop) has emerged as the new frontrunner do direct the sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad.
Although Mel Gibson had been reportedly circling the project, THR now reports that script delays pushed back the production start date and Gibson decided to move on despite both signs being interested in a collaboration.
Instead, Collet-Serra, a director skilled in genre work, looks set to take over the gig from David Ayer. The first film was a critical flop but did bring in $745.6 million worldwide, and Warner Bros. is eyeing a mid-2018 start for production on the sequel to get underway.
The studio recently received a new treatment written by Zak Penn (Ready Player One) and a new script will now be written.
A potential issue with Collet-Serra directing is that he’s signed on to direct Waco, a drama based around the tragic 1993 standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidians, which has been written by Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) and Marc Haimes (Kubo And The Two Strings).
While Collet-Serra’s involvement is not yet confirmed and his other projects could potentially scupper a deal, if he officially signs on then the Suicide Squad sequel has a competent, interesting director at the helm, one that’s always directed action well and has a knack for interesting subversions of genre.
If the first film was lambasted for feeling disjointed and desperate to be cool, that’s unlikely to be a problem with Collet-Serra, who should give the film excellent rhythm and pacing that the first one could only dream of.
The director has reportedly been near the top of Warner Bros. wishlist since March, so they’re likely keen to lock him up and begin moving on the sequel, in order to wash away the bad taste the first film left in mouths as quickly as possible.