Hit the Beach With 'The Suicide Squad' in This Explosive Look Behind the Scenes (Exclusive)
By John Boone
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The Suicide Squad is a superhero movie cranked to 10, with explosions and the storming of beaches, shootouts in the jungle, a giant mind-controlling starfish and... a wedding? That's the hope of Juan Diego Botto's character, at least, as the actor reveals in this exclusive look behind the scenes at DC's new Task Force X team-up. The bride-to-be? None other than Harley Quinn.
"He lives in a country where everything is very old-fashioned, and people want a president that's married. He's not," Botto teases of his character, Presidente General Silvio Luna. "He needs to find the appropriate wife, and our country, Corto Maltese, is very anti-American, so [Harley] represents that. That's why she's a perfect candidate."
Despite standout characters like Margot Robbie's Harley -- who spun off into last year's Birds of Prey -- a follow-up to 2016's Suicide Squad wasn't guaranteed. Then James Gunn got his hands on all the toys in the sandbox. Bringing back Viola Davis' Task Force X leader Amanda Waller -- along with returnees Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) -- Gunn assembled a new team for a new mission.
This new squad includes the likes of Bloodsport (Idris Elba), King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone), Peacemaker (John Cena), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Ratcatcher II (Daniela Melchior), Weasel (Sean Gunn) and T.D.K., aka The Detachable Kid (Nathan Fillion). "They're not necessarily the coolest of superheroes or villains," Courtney says, "and there's a sort of beauty that comes along with that."
"Everyone's really sick. I'm very honest -- I don't know if you could tell -- and I would sh*t on you, but everyone was really cool," Pete Davidson, who pops up as Blackguard, weighs in. "It was really crazy being on camera with such talented people who have been in the game forever."
Waller's latest mission takes the squad to the country of Corto Maltese, where they're tasked with destroying an enemy base containing an alien weapon. What wasn't shot in Panama was built on sets, including a football stadium-sized beach rigged to blow up. "They built a beach!" Dastmalchian exclaims. "With a working ocean!"
"When we arrived, everyone thinks, 'Oh, it's going to be peaceful.' You know, let's have a mai tai, let's have a massage, where's my hotel? No, no, no. Things go Downtown Julie Brown very, very quickly," Flula Borg, who plays Javelin, teases. "Everyone is exploding -- genitals, heads, arms, legs, toes -- everything is just dying! It's crazy. It's like a waterpark, except at the end, everyone's dead."
Did we mention the movie is rated R? The big question for viewers when they finally feast their eyes on The Suicide Squad in all its gory glory will be, who lives? And who dies? (Likely by way of having their head blown up) Especially since Gunn says that no character was off limits when it came to offing them. After all, they're all bad guys.
"I look at them on a sort of continuum from goodness to not-so-goodness," Gunn says. "There are the characters who are innately pretty good, like Ratcatcher II -- I think she's an innately good human being -- then there's the people like Bloodsport, who probably have some goodness in them, but it's long been buried through years of abuse of himself and of himself by other people."
Bloodsport and Ratcatcher actually make each other better, Elba says. "That storyline is quite tender, quite sweet, even though he just can't stand the sight of a rat, he definitely warms to her. And then the rat warms to him. But honestly, I don't like rats, personally."
Back to Gunn's continuum: "There's the crazies, like Harley, who isn't bad necessarily, but she definitely is morally unhinged."
"Harley is a catalyst of chaos, I always think of her that way," Robbie says. "And I actually think it's better when she doesn't have to be your moral center or even your emotional center, because it just gives her more leeway to behavior more authentically like her -- which is to be unpredictable [and] morally ambiguous."
"There's King Shark," Gunn continues listing off, "who is part fish, so has the morality of a fish, basically."
"King Shark probably was my favorite [character]," Kinnaman says. "He's just really stupid and he likes to eat people but is also really kind and wants to be a good friend but also eat his friend."
"I find King Shark so cute," Robbie gushes. "I remember when we did the first Suicide Squad with David [Ayer], I was like, 'Why isn't King Shark in it?!' I'd always been like, 'Gosh, we can't have The Suicide Squad without King Shark.' So, I was so happy when I read this script and saw that Kingey was going to be joining the gang. But of course, on set, that was Steve [Agee] just wearing a gray suit and a weird thing on his head."
"When you see him, it's just a big, bulky fish, so it really is kind of easy to walk as King Shark," Agee, who stood in for King Shark on set, deadpans. "I'm 6'7" so it's not much different than myself walking."
"And then we have the more malevolent people like The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), who are not just amoral, they're actually looking to cause pain." Even still, Gunn says, "To me, the villain really is Amanda Waller, more than anyone else."
"She is fierce as f**k," Elba agrees. "She doesn't mess around."
"I sort of like playing the badass, I really do," Davis says, noting she especially loves killing off her co-stars. "Superhero movies should be fun and should be bonkers. I mean, you have characters who can talk to rats and a shark. I'm in a scene with a shark!"
The Suicide Squad is in theaters and streaming on HBO Max on Aug. 6.