James Gunn knows how to make VFX look realistic. His work on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy with creating Rocket Raccoon and Groot has made the characters a staple of the MCU.
However, his most challenging creation is King Shark from the new DC comics movie The Suicide Squad, which Gunn is directing. In an interview with Gamesradar, Gunn provided insight into just how complex the process of developing King Shark was compared to his work on Guardians. “From a character standpoint, he’s very different from [Rocket and Groot], because at the end of the day, with the Guardians, we know they’re good,” Gunn says. “That isn’t true of the Suicide Squad. King Shark is a fish, and he eats human beings. He doesn’t have such a mammalian love for people. But he wants to belong, and he wants to show that he’s smart. And he’s not.”
The difficulty sounds like it’s down to the type of animals Gunn is working with. A Raccoon can stand upright, and when it’s time to get what they need, they can use their hands. A Shark has no hands or legs, but King Shark is a walking, talking shark with arms and four webbed fingers on each hand in the comics and the movie. Gunn confirms this, stating, “Rocket was hard because it’s difficult taking an animal and turning it into a humanoid shape, but it’s five times more difficult to do that with a shark – it was a very, very painstaking process.”
Sylvester Stallone is lending his voice to the Shark man. Stallone and Gunn seem to have a good working relationship as the Rocky star also appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Interestingly, Gunn went with more of an animated look than using practical effects for King Shark in the first Suicide Squad film directed by David Ayer. You would never know how complicated making this character was because Gunn gives these characters photorealism to look authentic and believable on-screen.