Mel Gibson‘s comeback campaign last year, which culminated in multiple Oscar nominations for “Hacksaw Ridge,” included plenty of interviews with press, and the controversial filmmaker didn’t hold back his opinions when it came Hollywood’s blockbuster budget bloat and superhero movies.
“What did they spend on ‘Batman v Superman’ that they’re admitting to?” Gibson asked rhetorically in September. “And it’s a piece of shit,” he added.
“I’m not interested in [superhero movies]. Do you know what the difference between real superheroes and comic book superheroes is? Real superheroes didn’t wear spandex. So I don’t know. Spandex must cost a lot,” the director said. Well, it looks Gibson has had his come to Jesus moment.
Warner Bros. is in early talks with Gibson to direct “Suicide Squad 2.” Fans probably won’t be pleased to know (or surprised by) the fact that the filmmaker isn’t actually familiar with the source material, and it kinda sounds like WB will have to wait and see if he digs it or not. Indeed, they’re also looking at other possible directors such as Daniel Espinosa (“Safe House,” the upcoming sci-fi “Life“), Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland,” “Gangster Squad“), and Jonathan Levine (“Warm Bodies,” “50/50“) to replace David Ayer, who is pivoting to the Margot Robbie-led “Gotham City Sirens.”
We’ll see how this plays out, but I kinda don’t see Gibson directing “Suicide Squad 2.” He’s a filmmaker who has really embraced his unique viewpoint and storytelling voice, and having to work with the DC Films machinery doesn’t seem like a good fit. It’s clear why WB wants him — he knows his way around huge setpieces — but it also seems like a potential PR nightmare. Can you imagine the eccentric Gibson doing the fanboy circuit? Especially when he’ll be asked repeatedly about this ambivalence regarding the genre.
“Some [superhero movies] are good. Some are kind of funny … ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Or the first ‘Iron Man.’ And some of them are just like [retreads]. I mean you can watch them do Spider-Man five times … There is a slight shift in film. But, then again, I think all films are suffering from people not being able to now open them with their name. It’s a different kind of business these days,” Gibson reflected last May. “I think you used to get more variety of stories, films and performances. You had more of a chance of a profound film experience. But that’s not gone. I think that has been relegated to the independent world – but they have to do it twice as fast for half the money.”
Unless Gibson can find the profound story within “Suicide Squad 2,” I’d wager he’ll be moving on. But who knows… WB and DC Films have proven time and again to surprise in really unusual ways. As for the rest of those names, they’re not particularly inspired choices, but they are the kind of guys who can get the job done, no more, no less. [THR/Variety]