We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

The Suicide Squad’s release date, cast, trailer, 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.

suicide squad poster

The Suicide Squad anticipation is reaching fever pitch with the cast all announced, and promos ramping up ahead of its release this August – on HBO Max.


The DC Extended Universe film is a soft reboot of the 2016 movie that had a bit of a mixed reception when it was released, and many of the cast of that film are returning for this one – with some exciting new additions thrown into the mix.

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is back, as is Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, and some of the new additions include including Idris Elba, Peter Capaldi, Nathan Fillion and Sylvester Stallone.

Director and writer James Gunn said earlier this year that with The Suicide Squad he “made every single choice and [Warner Bros] never once even slightly interfered.

“They gave very few notes – they were usually good and minor and I took them if I wanted to and didn’t if I didn’t want to. Warners was creatively amazing.”

The finished result isn’t linked to the first Suicide Squad either, with Gunn confirming it’s “its own thing.” So forget continuity for now.

With new characters, and more of a creative free approach it sounds like Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is one to watch. Here’s everything you need to know about The Suicide Squad.

The Suicide Squad release date: When is it out?

Warner Bros has confirmed The Suicide Squad is scheduled for release on 6th August 2021. 

The movie will be released in cinemas as well as on HBO Max in the USA along with fellow WB productions including Godzilla Vs Kong and the next Matrox movie.

HBO Max is only available in the US, so international release – while not confirmed – will most likely be in cinemas.

Given that cinemas should be open again by August in the UK, we expect a normal release.

The Suicide Squad cast: Who stars in The Suicide Squad?

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.

Gunn told Empire Magazine: “In The Suicide Squad, some of the characters end up being good, some end up being terrible. They don’t just get in fights and say they’re going to kill each other, they actually do get in fights and kill each other. “You really don’t know who’s going to live and who’s going to die. I was given full freedom to kill anyone – and I mean anyone – by DC.”

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. 

The cast list is as follows:

  • Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
  • Idris Elba as Rober DuBois/Bloodsport
  • John Cena as Peacemaker
  • Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag
  • Sylvester Stallone as the voice of King Shark
  • Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
  • Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang
  • Peter Capaldi as the Thinker
  • David Dastmalchian as Abner Krill/Polka-Dot Man
  • Daniela Melchior as Ratchatcher 2
  • Michael Rooker as Savant
  • Alice Braga as Sol Soria
  • Pete Davidson as Richard ‘Dick’ Hertz/Blackguard
  • Nathan Fillion as Floyd Belkin/T.D.K.
  • Sean Gunn as Weasel
  • Flula Borg as Javelin
  • Mayling Ng as Mongal
  • Steve Agee as John Economos
  • Joaquin Cosio as Mateo Suarez
  • Juan Diego Botto as Dilvio Luna
  • Storm Reid as Bloodsport’s daughter Tyla
  • Julio Ruiz as Milton, an associate of Task Force X

“It’s such a great cast that [James] put together,” Kinnaman told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

What new characters are in The Suicide Squad?

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 Slither and Super, is also on board as TDK, who appears to be a new creation of Gunn’s – or perhaps a codename for a surprise inclusion.

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.

“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 three of his Guardians of the Galaxy stars over to the DC Universe with him, including Yondu actor Michael Rooker, who plays vigilante Savant and Gunn’s own brother Sean, who plays Weasel.

Sylvester Stallone, who had a small role in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, is also reuniting with Gunn for The Suicide Squad, providing the voice of King Shark.

Rounding out the rest of the team 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.

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.”

It’s a huge ensemble cast filled with promising talent, who can be spotted in all their costumed glory on the epic covers to this month’s Empire Magazine.

The Suicide Squad trailer

The trailer for the movie has finally dropped and here it is in all its glory! The wait for this one is going to feel even longer now, isn’t it?

James Gunn had previously 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 1970s war movie combined with the brilliance of James Gunn’s characters and comedy.”

Ahead of the full trailer release, we also got this great new poster that we already want hanging up on the office wall.

And in a new TV spot released via director James Gunn’s Twitter, we get another quick glimpse at the villainous alien-starfish Starro.

The Suicide Squad plot: 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.

We do now have the official synopsis too: “Welcome to hell — a.k.a. Bell Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out — even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment?

Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin, and everyone’s favourite pyscho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.”

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 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.

How does The Suicide Squad fit with Birds of Prey?

A spin-off movie starring Robbie’s Harley Quinn was released in 2020, 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 – check out our Movies hub for all the latest news.


If you’re looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide.