While fans are still reeling from the numerous shocking deaths in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, the director has discussed how he decided who to kill off in the blood-soaked blockbuster.
Functioning as a soft reboot of the 2016 original, the DC Comics film features a handful of returning characters but spotlights a largely new roster of villains and antiheroes, many of whom don’t make it out alive (check out our spoiler-filled guide to The Suicide Squad deaths).
In an interview with YouTube channel Jake’s Takes, the filmmaker said the grisly deaths in the film were far from random, explaining that all were in service to his story.
“There were some characters that I chose and I knew that when I chose those characters, they were gonna die,” he told host Jake Hamilton. “And some of them were gonna die earlier and some of them were gonna die later, but then sometimes, when you’re crafting a story, part of it is just following instinct.”
In a cheeky reference to the film’s high bodycount, The Suicide Squad poster features the tagline “don’t get too attached”, but it appears Gunn did just that during the writing process, admitting to being sad to see some of his characters go.
“Sometimes people would get killed that I don’t wanna see killed,” he added. “There’s two characters in particular that every time I watch the movie I get teary-eyed because I don’t want to see those characters die. But I think it served the greater story of the film so that’s why it happens.”
Gunn does not name which two characters specifically pull on his heartstrings, although anyone who has seen the film can probably take an educated guess.
The Suicide Squad stars Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and Joel Kinnaman, following a team of supervillains called Task Force X as they are coerced into a dangerous secret mission by the US government.