The Suicide Squad spoilers follow.
The Suicide Squad‘s competition between Bloodsport [Idris Elba] and Peacemaker [John Cena] has fatal consequences when the former’s team massacre a guerrilla platoon early on in the film – only to realize later that their victims were actually the good guys.
Gunn explained to Variety that he had reservations about the sequence but ultimately believed that it fed into the narrative of Bloodsport’s journey learning “that being a man and being a leader is not synonymous with being a toxic man”.
“The stuff with Bloodsport and Peacemaker, I had a lot of reservations about. I loved the sequence. It’s funny and it goes to the heart of what the movie is about, for me, in terms of Bloodsport’s journey of starting to learn that being a man and being a leader is not synonymous with being a toxic man, and that the path forward to true manhood is through vulnerability.
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“That [sequence] is a big part of that – just a big contest between two people. But even watching it the other night in the [cinema], that’s the one place I go ‘holy shit, we pushed it far‘ – like, it’s at the edge of where we could go with that.”
Gunn went on to reveal that even some Warner Bros. executives also had reservations, so he decided to add one crucial element to lessen the blow.
“I think that’s when I added Amanda Waller explicitly [telling] them to go into the camp and kill everyone. So they are following her orders, and she is in a way the antagonist in the film.”
Related: James Gunn reveals which The Suicide Squad character he couldn’t kill off
Recently, Gunn also spoke about the character development we see with Bloodsport through the course of the movie, but acknowledged that it’s not so simple for Peacemaker – hence the spin-off series being the prime opportunity to explore this further.
“I think a lot of the characters change a lot in this movie. Peacemaker, he doesn’t, and if anything, he changes for the worst.
“And so it’s about being able to go on this adventure with this character who has a lot of true issues. Bloodsport’s issues take two hours and 15 minutes to deal with, Peacemaker’s issues take at least six and a half hours.”
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