Director James Gunn has been very open about the fact that he’s going to kill a bunch of characters in his The Suicide Squad movie, to the point where it seems like Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn might even be on the proverbial chopping block (especially since there’s really no DC Cinematic Universe to speak of, so nobody would really need to question it if she shows up unharmed in Birds Of Prey 2). In fact, Gunn revealed on Twitter this week that he used the movie’s high death count to keep some plot details under wraps, since “most” of the cast only got copies of the script up to the point where their character died.
This comes via Uproxx, which notes that this is a pretty easy way to keep spoilers from leaking, but we think all movie productions should start doing this just to trick actors into giving better performances. If, say, Sean Bean hadn’t read the Fellowship Of The Ring script and didn’t know that Sam and Frodo were going to make it out okay after he got arrow’d to hell, wouldn’t his performance have been that much more desperate and dramatic in that death scene? What is directing if not tricking actors into doing their jobs better?
Elsewhere on Gunn’s Twitter, he also mentioned that this (possibly unnecessary) adherence to secrecy led to some confusion with his crew. He said that Idris Elba’s script and the back of his chair on set referred to him as “Vigilante,” not his actual The Suicide Squad character Bloodsport, with production designer Beth Mickle only learning the truth a week before they finished filming. That seems particularly weird, since Bloodsport isn’t even a household DC villain name, but maybe Gunn just didn’t want anyone outsiders to get even the slightest clue about the plot he was putting together. Or maybe this Bloodsport will eventually reveal that his name is Richard T. Joker or whatever and it will be a huge surprise.
Back to Vigilante, though, that name was used by several DC superheroes, including a cowboy in the ‘40s and then a super cool Marv Wolfman/George Pérez dude with ski goggles in the ‘80s (as seen on Arrow a few years ago). Whether or not it was just so he could reuse the chair, Gunn said that Vigilante will actually be one of the main characters on his Peacemaker spin-off show—though we don’t know if that means cowboy Vigilante or ski goggles Vigilante. The Suicide Squad will be on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously on August 6.