When we think about the DC cinematic Universe, we tend to picture an ageing society beauty long forgotten by press and public. Alone in her dusty mansion, she gazes longingly at a faded photograph of Christopher Nolan before coughing spots of blood onto a handkerchief. Things aren’t looking too good, in short. The “take off and nuke the site from orbit” moment was last year’s Suicide Squad, an extended Hot Topic advert that left both fans and critics cold. In order to stop the patient from bleeding out on the table completely, they’ll need a new team for the sequel. Only the best of the best will do. So, who are they eyeing up so far? Their latest signing is screenwriter Adam Cozad, perhaps better known by his nickname; “who?”
Adam Cozad, confirmed to be in negotiations to write the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel, isn’t a choice that exactly inspires confidence. His other writing projects include the Lukewarm Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and execrable The Legend of Tarzan. And when we say “include”, we mean “Consist entirely of these two films that you either dislike or haven’t heard of”. He’s hardly the tried and tested Hollywood mainstay that we’d expect Warner Brothers to want penning the script for such an important project.
Still, Cozad is an up-and-comer, and has several other major projects on the go. He’s working on a Joseph Kosinski/Ridley Scott sci-fi film called Archangels and an action vehicle for Kirsten Stewart entitled Underwater. Hollywood have clearly marked him as one to watch, even if his first two adapted screenplays were ones to avoid. It’s also worth noting that Cozad is unlikely to be working on the script alone. Warner Brothers have repeatedly expressed how important nailing the story will be to the upcoming production, so it’s safe to assume that they’re going to opt for the security of a script by committee.
Mel Gibson is as yet only rumoured to be in the director’s chair, having been approached by Warner Brothers after the departure of David Ayer. Despite his recent Oscar nomination for Hacksaw Ridge he’s not an obvious choice. He’s a dab hand at religious torture porn and Apocalypto was fun, if about as historically accurate as a Martin Luther King biopic where he rides a velociraptor, but he seems most comfortable with weighty, sombre source material. It’s difficult to imagine him taking to the peculiar mixture of grit and zaniness that a Suicide Squad sequel requires.
After 2016’s twin nut punches of Batman Vs. Superman and Suicide Squad we really need more reassurance than this before we buy into the possibility that a Suicide Squad sequel will be worth our money. We want to hear that the film will be helmed by the re-animated corpse of Stanley Kubrick and written by God. Cozad and Gibson (possibly) have a whole lot of work cut out for them if they want to win back the trust of an audience many times bitten and now severely shy.