The Suicide Squad’s release date – cast, plot and latest news

Idris Elba, Margot Robbie and Jai Courtenay are set to star in the super-villain team-up movie The Suicide Squad

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Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad are on their way – just don’t get used to any of them.


James Gunn’s sort-of-sequel/reboot to 2016’s Suicide Squad looks set to give an offbeat, more comic-book-accurate take on the tale of supervillains forced on shady missions by the government, with Margot Robbie, Idris Elba and Joel Kinnaman leading a huge ensemble cast.

“That movie is going to be insane,” Kinnaman told The Hollywood Reporter.

“The script is so funny. Every page of that script was funny, and every page made me laugh. James just has this command of that genre, but also over every aspect of comedy and even the marketing. He just understands the world so well, and since he wrote it, he really reinvents not just the concepts, but also the characters.”

Previously, director Gunn has spoilt fans with a teaser trailer announcing all members of The Suicide Squad – including Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, Idris Elba as BloodSport and John Cena as Peacemaker – and a behind-the-scenes clip hinting that the upcoming flick will be “different to any superhero movie ever made”.

While Gunn’s reveal of The Suicide Squad cast (which also features Viola Davis and Jai Courtney reprising their roles from the first film) undoubtedly excited fans, the director has also warned viewers not to get too attached. After all, when it comes to the Suicide Squad no-one is truly safe…

Here’s what we know about The Suicide Squad so far.

When is The Suicide Squad’s release date?

The DC Extended Universe sequel, which is officially titled The Suicide Squad, is currently scheduled for release on 6th August 2021.

The Suicide Squad cast 

Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad
Warner Bros

The Suicide Squad will bring back a handful of characters from the original 2016 film, but will introduce many brand new members of the team – some of whom may not be sticking around for too long…

“It’s such a great cast that [James] put together,” Joel Kinnaman said.

“There are so many chops in that cast, and James has such a command of it all. He knows exactly what he wants, and sometimes it’s going to take him 10 takes to get there, or it’s going to take one. And he knows exactly when he gets what he needs because his ear is so attuned to it.”

Margot Robbie and Jai Courtenay are reprising their roles as Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang respectively, with Viola Davis also set to return as government boss Amanda Waller alongside Joel Kinnaman as army man Rick Flag. 

As for the new additions, writer-director Gunn has delved into the DC Comics archives and plucked some very zany characters from relative obscurity – all of whom were revealed in a teaser video he released in August.

Idris Elba (Luther) is the most famous new recruit and while initially rumoured to be taking over Will Smith’s character Deadshot, the teaser trailer revealed he will be playing BloodSport – a man named Robert DuBois who becomes obsessed with the Vietnam War after learning his brother went to fight in his place, according to the comics.

Meanwhile, David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man) returns to the world of DC after a small role in 2008’s The Dark Knight, this time playing minor Batman rogue Polka-Dot Man. In Gunn’s birthday video he can be seen with coloured dots stuck to his face in honour of this.

Portuguese actress Daniela Melchior has been cast as a female version of Ratcatcher 2, a former exterminator who became a criminal with the ability to communicate with and control small rodents.

Fan favourite Nathan Fillion (Firefly), who previously collaborated with Gunn on Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither and Super, is also on board as TDK, who appears to be a new creation of Gunn’s.

As confirmed by director James Gunn, wrestler-turned-actor John Cena has also been cast in The Suicide Squad and will play a comic-book hero called Peacemaker, who Cena describes as a “douchey Captain America” in a behind the scenes trailer. Cena appeared to confirm this in Gunn’s birthday video, firing two toy guns in a style similar to the double-wielding DC character, while his role was later announced in Gunn’s role call video.

“John Cena, that motherf***er is a comedic genius,” Kinnaman said. “No one would make us laugh on set more than John. Every scene he was in, he would go on an improvised tangent.”

And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also been revealed that Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi will also appear in the movie as The Thinker – an incredibly intelligent man who is so smart that his powers are likened to that of a clairvoyant.

The Suicide Squad Peter Capaldi
The Suicide Squad Peter Capaldi
Warner Bros

Gunn will be bringing two of his Guardians of the Galaxy stars over to the DC Universe with him, those being Yondu actor Michael Rooker, who plays vigilante Savant and Gunn’s own brother Sean, who plays Weasel.

Rounding out the rest of The Suicide Squad includes SNL’s Pete Davidson as Blackguard, The New Mutants’ Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Mayling Ng as Mongal, White Lines‘ Juan Diego Botto as Luna, Steve Agee as King Shark and Pitch Perfect’s Flula Borg as Javelin.

While Storm Reid (The Invisible Man) plays Tyla, Joaquín Cosío (Narcos: Mexico) plays General Mateo Suarez and Jennifer Holland (American Horror Story) plays Emilia Harcourt.

David Dastmalchian as Polka Dot Man
David Dastmalchian as Polka Dot Man
Warner Bros

Actor, filmmaker and recent Oscar winner Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) has also bagged an undisclosed role, making this his third major franchise after past appearances in the MCU and The Mandalorian – however this was not confirmed in the role call video.

As for Jared Leto, his Joker won’t return for the sequel as Warner Bros seems to be prioritising Joaquin Phoenix’s creepy interpretation of the character.

It’s unclear whether Leto will ever return to the role, given his vocal dissatisfaction with the original Suicide Squad movie and his commitment to playing Morbius in Sony’s Spider-Man universe.

Those hoping for another Batman cameo are sadly out of luck, as neither Ben Affleck nor newcomer Robert Pattinson is expected to appear in this team flick.

Gunn told fans on Instagram: “You can check out Batman in The Batman, June 2021 [since delayed]. The Suicide Squad will feature mostly, you know, The Suicide Squad.”

What age rating is The Suicide Squad?

Joel Kinnaman has suggested the movie could be rated R in the US, which would translate to either a 15 or an 18 in the UK depending on the film’s content and signalling a more adult take on superheroics.

“For me, it was like I did my first comedy, but it’s like heavily R-rated,” he said.

“It was a real learning experience for me too because I’d never done a comedy in that way before. So I asked James to work with me and teach me this sh-t. And yeah, we had so much fun doing it. That movie is going to be a f***ing monster. Honestly, even though I’m in it, I can’t wait to see it as a fan.”

What is The Suicide Squad about?

Recruited by a shady government department, The Suicide Squad follows a team of supervillains forced to carry out secret missions, or else they risk a violent death via explosive implants in their heads.

The specific storyline is as yet unknown and will probably stay that way until closer to release, but it is expected to be largely separated from the events of the first film, and has been described as a “war movie”.

Is there a trailer for The Suicide Squad?

While an official trailer has not yet been released, James Gunn revealed each member of the Suicide Squad in a teaser roll call video.

The director also released a short behind-the-scenes video, featuring interviews with the cast and crew as well as a first look of what’s to come.

The two-minute clip shows Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena and David Dastmalchian as Harley Quinn, BloodSport, Peacemaker and Polka Dot Man respectively, with Gunn saying: “It’s going to be different from any superhero movie every made…This is by far the biggest movie I’ve ever made.”

“This one is completely unique,” producer Peter Safran says in the clip. “This is a gritty 1970’s war movie combined with the brilliance of James Gunn’s characters and comedy.”

Was filming been delayed?

Fortunately not! The Suicide Squad is one of the few major blockbusters that has managed to avoid any substantial delays, as it wrapped filming in late February – just prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

This has allowed director James Gunn to work on editing from home during lockdown, which means it should be able to release as planned in August 2021 (assuming cinemas are open by then).

What happened in the first Suicide Squad?

In the first film, the team of villains were sent on a dangerous mission to take down Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), the reincarnated soul of a mummified sorcerer who tried to destroy the world.

Over the course of the film, Leto’s Joker popped up a few times to try and help his on-and-off lover and victim Harley Quinn (Robbie) – but was not particularly well received by audiences, despite a great deal of hype around the character.

The first Suicide Squad movie is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video if you need to refresh your memory. While you’re at it, check out the soundtrack too.

Is James Gunn directing?

James Gunn
James Gunn (Getty)

In late 2018, James Gunn was (temporarily) fired from directing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 when distasteful jokes he had made 10 years prior resurfaced online.

He was quickly snapped up by Warner Bros to work on their struggling Suicide Squad sequel, rewriting an earlier draft of the script and later signing on to direct.

His involvement has become a little bit more complicated since Marvel and Disney hired him back to work on Guardians 3, with the director now returning to Marvel as soon as he finishes making a movie for their main rivals.

How does The Suicide Squad fit with Birds of Prey?

A spin-off movie starring Robbie’s Harley Quinn released back in February, which saw her emancipate herself from the Joker’s grasp and lead her very own team of vigilantes against a sadistic Gotham City crime boss.

It’s unclear if there will be any major links between the two films, but the Birds of Prey themselves are not expected to appear in any capacity – although there could be a few subtle references.


The Suicide Squad is released in cinemas on 6th August 2021. If you’re looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide.