Is James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad a sequel to the original Suicide Squad movie? After all, it features several of the same characters and actors as the first film, including Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, and Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. Or is it a reboot? Even with those familiar faces, it features a ton of new characters, a totally different design aesthetic, and is missing some of the most important players from the previous Suicide Squad, including Will Smith’s Deadshot and Jared Leto’s Joker.

The answers to both these questions, it seems, is “it doesn’t matter.” According to The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran, the specific nature of the film is not addressed onscreen. Per Collider, Safran said...

We just don't address it in any tangible form. Yes, they're the characters [and] the actors that played them in the first movie. But we really wanted to make sure that this stands on its own two feet. So, again, it's why... it's not a sequel, but there are some characters that were in the first movie, right? So it's not really a full reboot either. So we just call it James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.

Safran also said that the film will not address the stuff that happened to Robbie’s Harley Quinn in the Birds of Prey movie, or include references to Leto’s Joker, which was a huge part of her backstory in both Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey. So if that’s the stuff you were looking forward to seeing in Gunn’s Suicide Squad, uh, sorry, but that’s not going to happen. On the plus side, without having to worry about connections to other DC Comics movies, it can just be its own thing. The first Suicide Squad felt overly burdened with introducing Leto and cameos from Batman and the Flash. It had other, enormous problems on top of that, but it certainly didn’t help matters.

The Suicide Squad opens in theaters and premieres on HBO Max on August 6.

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