James Gunn Reportedly Had Warner Bros. Agree He Could Kill Whichever The Suicide Squad Characters He Wanted

The crew of the new Suicide Squad. In the snow.
The crew of the new Suicide Squad. In the snow.
Image: Warner Bros.

Sometimes, it feels like a storyteller is just hungry for blood. You know, the George R.R. Martin types who revel in the shock and dramatic appeal of letting their characters die. With James Gunn on The Suicide Squad, that might have been more true than you’d think.

Taking to Twitter recently, Gunn replied to a fan who claimed that Harley Quinn and a couple other characters had “plot armor,” that trope where characters aren’t allowed to ever face authentic risk in storytelling because they’re just too important for the author to ever consider killing off. Gunn said that this wasn’t true, and that one of his conditions for The Suicide Squad was that he could kill anyone, anyone he wanted.


“They gave me carte blanche to do what I wanted,” he said. “I wasn’t looking for shock value but I wanted the audience to know anything could happen.”

I suppose it does make sense; it’s not truly The Suicide Squad unless somebody can die. Whether or not this will actually be felt in the writing is a matter of craft, though, not merely executive dispensation. And with The Flash getting all timeline wonky, it might not really matter who Gunn kills anyway; Warner Bros. definitely has a means of bringing them back.

Still, wouldn’t it be wild to just see everyone die? Just total massacre ending. It’d be dark and I’d love it. I might be alone in that, though.


The Suicide Squad is slated for August 6th, 2021.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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I believe him, except for Harley. Harley won’t die. Not just because she’s a cash cow for WB, but because the majority of the audience don’t want to see her die. Oh sure, she has her haters who would be absolutely overjoyed if she died. But most people see Harley is the fun, zany character, and you don’t kill the fun zany hero unless you really want to bring the mood down and get real grim. And I can’t see a Gunn movie ever going real grim and serious. Black humour is his comfort zone. Emphasis on humour.