Mel Gibson Being Considered To Direct 'Suicide Squad' Sequel
Suicide Squad was panned by many critics as hateful, misogynistic, and all too willing to enable the worst behavior of an Oscar winning co-star. In that context, perhaps it isn't a massive shock that none other than Mel Gibson is a rumored candidate to direct Suicide Squad 2, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Gibson won his redemption, at least in the eyes of Hollywood studios and Oscar voters, for directing Hacksaw Ridge to multiple Oscar nominations. Nonetheless, Gibson's history of anti-Semitic and misogynistic actions hasn't been forgiven or forgotten by everyone, and the mere suggestion that he could receive his own massive superhero sequel anyway won't make the controversy go away any faster.
On one level, this comes out of nowhere because Gibson seemed to have a low regard for superheroes, as he claimed to turn down Thor and called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a "piece of s***" Yet Warner Brothers is clearly willing to forgive Gibson for that too, at least enough to start "courting" him and enter "early talks" while he is "familiarizing himself" with the material, according to the Reporter.
For those who most hated Suicide Squad, someone like Gibson helming its sequel may make complete sense, given its violent group of demented 'heroes', its romanticizing of an abusive relationship, and turning a blind eye to Jared Leto's antics because he's an Oscar winner. As for the DCEU, ignoring potential backlash and public perception, and doubling down on problematic elements, has appeared to be its mantra for some time.
However, Gibson has never directed a film that required big budget CGI, and hasn't directed a non R-rated movie since his 1993 directorial debut The Man Without A Face. Between that and what may be limited room for Christian overtones, it may actually require more restraint from Gibson than usual.
If it really isn't a good fit for him, then Warner Brothers may already have backup choices. The Reporter claimed another potential candidate was Daniel Espinosa, whose upcoming film Life co-stars Ryan Reynolds and is from the writers of Deadpool. Variety also mentioned Jonathan Levine and Ruben Fleischer as directors the studio has met or is planning to meet, but Justin Kroll later updated "if Mel wants it, it's his" although they are "ways away" from a decision.
Even if Gibson decides no, he still has a different sequel to fall back on. Right as the Suicide Squad rumors broke, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that Gibson signed onto Daddy's Home 2, as he and John Lithgow will play the respective daddies of Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell.
Gibson will act in that comedy sequel sooner than he may direct a superhero sequel, as a new Suicide Squad film doesn't even have a release date yet. Between original director David Ayer and Margot Robbie working on Gotham City Sirens, the lingering possibility of Will Smith's Deadshot getting his own film, and all the other holes in the DCEU schedule, Suicide Squad 2 is just one more big DC question mark no matter who gets chosen to direct it.
With Gibson hitting the Oscar red carpet for Hacksaw Ridge on Feb. 26, he may face his own questions about these rumors soon enough.