While the marketing campaign for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is ramping up in a big way (click here for Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill’s thoughts on Superman’s power advantage), Warner Bros. isn’t neglecting its other 2016 superhero film, Suicide Squad. The studio has unveiled a new image from director David Ayer’s film, which turns the focus on the baddies of the DC Cinematic Universe as a group of villains are enlisted by a government official—Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis—to deal with a mysterious adversary. The film brings together characters lesser known to general audiences like Deadshot (Will Smith), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), but it also deals with iconography in the form of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and, of course, Jared Leto’s new Joker.
For Ayer, who also wrote the film himself, playing with the bad guys offers the film a unique opportunity in the realm of superhero movies (via USA Today):
“We all need good guys and everything — yay, good guys — but at the end of the day, they’re kinda boring,” the Fury director says. “They’re always going to do the right thing. When you’re dealing with the baddies, it’s easy to get ahead of the audience and invert expectations.”
He added that the Joker transcends good and evil, saying he’s “the king of Planet Joker”, but Ayer also got to play with another coveted character in the DC toybox: Ben Affleck’s Batman. We saw the character (played by a stunt double) on the streets of Toronto shooting scenes with the Batmobile, but Ayer reveals that during Affleck’s one day on set, he put the actor to work:
“We made him fight,” the director says with a laugh. “He’s awesome (as Batman). … You really sense that but for the grace of God he himself would be doing some really foul stuff out in the world.”
Affleck himself even weighed in on the movie and the fact that he’s part of this massive DC Cinematic Universe:
“It felt like I have such a cool cousin. This thing that is so awesome is somehow related to me, and that was really exciting because it started to feel like a constellation of things, and I’ve never had that feeling.”
Finally, Ayer added that while making Suicide Squad, the fact that he was working within a larger cinematic universe never escaped him:
“For me, it’s a little more than just dropping a cut scene in the end credits to link projects. You really have to be thinking three movies downrange and how today’s movie will impact more later-cycle projects.”
In short, expect some major connective tissue between Suicide Squad and the rest of the DC Universe when the film hits theaters on August 5th. Check out the new image, via USA Today, below.