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 armour,” 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.
No character was protected by DC. They gave me carte blanche to do what I wanted. That was one of the things we agreed to before I came to work for them. I wasn't looking for shock value but I wanted the audience to know anything could happen. #StoryReignsSupreme #TheSuicideSquad https://t.co/VxH2ChdqWf
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 24, 2020
“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.
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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 5, 2021.