Hot off an Oscar nomination for directing Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson is being courted by Warner Bros. to direct SUICIDE SQUAD 2, though three more (white male) filmmakers remain in the mix, according to multiple reports.
Personally, I don’t see this happening at all. Gibson may have his flaws (as we all do) but he’s a brilliant filmmaker and I have no idea why he’d go near this sequel with a 10-foot pole. There’s no way he’s this desperate to make movies within the studio system, having shown time and again that he doesn’t need to work within their rigid parameters.
Gibson is far too talented to waste his time entering the chaotic DCEU, especially when he’s locked into honoring David Ayer’s vision. If Gibson was going to direct a superhero movie (a genre he has already publicly lambasted), why would he want to inherit another director’s cast rather than build a new property from the ground up? It makes no sense! I’d put the odds of him signing on somewhere between “slim” and “none.”
In classic Deadline fashion, the trade slipped word of Gibson’s candidacy into a story about the actor joining the cast of Daddy’s Home 2 (Daddy’s Home Again?). That was followed minutes later by the Hollywood Reporter, which added Daniel Espinosa (Life) to the potential mix. To further complicate matters, Variety reported that Jonathan Levine and Ruben Fleischer, both of whom were on Marvel’s shortlist of directors to replace Edgar Wright on Ant-Man, are also on WB’s shortlist.
Apparently, Warner Bros. hasn’t officially offered the gig to anyone yet, and Gibson is still familiarizing himself with the material before he makes a decision one way or the other. I just wish that the studio would consider a female filmmaker or a director of color, rather than save those choices for just Wonder Woman and Cyborg.
It was initially thought that Ayer could return to direct the Suicide Squad sequel after the first film grossed $745 million worldwide, but after wrapping Bright for Netflix, the filmmaker appears focused on getting WB’s Harley Quinn-led spinoff Gotham City Sirens off the ground.
Gibson has been rebuilding his image since being arrested for drunk driving and making anti-Semitic comments, which led the Hollywood community to distance themselves from the Braveheart star. Warner Bros. tried adding him to The Hangover Part II but the cast protested the decision and Gibson was ultimately replaced by Liam Neeson.
The Daddy’s Home sequel will be Gibson’s first studio film as an actor since Edge of Darkness, though Hacksaw Ridge earned six Oscar nominations and has grossed $164 million worldwide, proving that many people will still see movies he’s involved with. As a Jew, I’ve forgiven Gibson for his mistakes and will be first in line for his next movie… unless it’s Suicide Squad 2.
Gibson, who recently signed on to reteam with his Hacksaw Ridge star Vince Vaughn for the indie Dragged Across Concrete, is represented by CAA.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief