What do you get when you assemble some of the world’s worst bad guys? The Suicide Squad, which is comprised of some of the best villains in comic book history. Also known as Task Force X, the crew is an antihero team of super villains who act as assets for the U.S. government, undertaking black ops missions in exchange for reduced prison sentences.
The first trailer for the film, which is scheduled for a Aug. 5, 2016 release, has hit, and it’s full of big teasers. Here’s what we learned, and what to expect from this gritty caper flick.
Amanda Waller is the head honcho of the whole operation. We’re introduced to Waller, played by Viola Davis, over a nice steak dinner with two other government officials. She’s explaining the details of Task Force X, revealing that she has them, “The worst of the worst.”
(The worst of the worst being Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Deadshot, Rick Flagg, Killer Croc, El Diablo, Slipknot and Katana.)
One of the men voices his skepticism over the operation, but Waller assures him that “getting people to act against their own self-interest” is what she’s best at. In this case, she uses her ability to manipulate in order to assemble a task force of the most dangerous people on the planet. And if something goes awry, they can just deny everything, and put the blame squarely on the bad guys. Basically, Waller simply views Task Force X as her pawns—there’s no altruism here.
Slowly, we’re introduced to the different members, the key cog of which is Harley Quinn, who is being heavily guarded in a derelict facility. She’s in a small cage, which itself is surrounded by a fence with barbwire. That might not be her cell full-time, but more of a place where she can go to play, as evidenced by her aerial acrobatics routine.
Interspersed with shots of Harley doing her thing, we get a quick look at Killer Croc and El Diablo, along with Deadshot, who is pummeling a punching bag. No major revelations yet. Harley is covered in tattoos, and her skin is a sickly white.
“Are you the devil?” Harley asks; the camera then reveals a shot of Waller observing Quinn from behind a fence; Harley looks on in wonder.
We then see a shot of Floyd Lawton (Deadshot) walking down the street with what looks to be his daughter. It’s Christmastime—there are lights, and the two are holding presents. It’s snowing and dark, but it’s a hopeful shot. We cut to Deadshot in his full getup, repelling down the side of a building.
Waller’s voice over says, “All you need to know is you work for me.”
As the haunting music continues, we’re shown what looks to be a medical facility, though it looks unkept and almost abandoned. A few people in masks are shooting, while a person (it looks like Harley Quinn) is thrown onto a table by an unknown assailant. The man looks deranged, void of emotion.
We’re quickly shown a shot of Enchantress sitting in a tub of black water, and she doesn’t look healthy; the trailer actually shows her earlier in what might have been an underground cave. In the comics, she stumbles across a secret chamber, where she is bestowed with magical powers (along with a major appearance change; notice the change from blonde hair to black).
Task Force X walks down a deserted street, giving us a good look at Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Katana and Harley Quinn. We also get a quick look at Rick Flagg, who is an expert in military and special forces. Although he doesn’t possess any supernatural abilities, he has a keen knowledge of guerrilla tactics and strategy, making him an important asset.
The squad isn’t shown doing anything of note—it looks like they’re being led somewhere. Deadshot comes to terms with their predicament, before finally agreeing to save the world. He’s shown hugging his daughter in a quick flashback moment, still in civilian clothing.
In another flashback moment, we get to see Harley Quinn before she was Harley Quinn, i.e. Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel. It looks like she’s romantically involved with someone, though it’s difficult to tell who (my guess is Rick Flagg?).
A title card comes up, “Justice… has a bad side.”
Finally some action, though it’s tough to tell what’s going in. A person in a panda bear costume is unloading offscreen; I can’t quite make out where they are. These are probably Joker’s goons. There’s an air of irony; a panda bear wouldn’t rob someone. Next we’re shown someone in a Batman mask. It’s still too hard to tell what’s going on. It looks like some kind of factory.
In the next few shots, someone is leading Joker through the same facility. A Harley Quinn voiceover comes on, “You’re in so much trouble.”
Probably the biggest reveal in the trailer is seeing Harley Quinn (before she was Harley Quinn) strapped to a table. The person hovering over her is hidden in the shadows, though we can kind of make out tattoos, so it’s probably the Joker. Based on what we’ve been shown up to this point, it looks like we’ll get a quick origin story for each of the different characters, and why they’ve turned to a life of crime.
Harley looks terrified, held there against her will. She’s probably the one who Joker talks to at the end, “I’m not going to kill ya. I’m just going to hurt ya really, really bad.”
The next scene shows Batman riding on the top of a pink Lamborghini, with Harley Quinn and (we assume) the Joker inside.
Slipknot is finally introduced, though only for a moment. Then we see Harley Quinn in her full getup, with pink and blue cotton candy hair and a zombie-fied face. Her outfit looks like she blindly ran into a Hot Topic. “You know what they say about the crazy ones,” Captain Boomerang quips.
“Pa?” Quinn calls. And that’s when we hear Joker’s laugh. It’s menacing, evil. The screen fades, and then we get our first look at Joker in action; his hands held out, shirtless, walking in what looks like a medical facility. That naughty panda from earlier looks like it’s on the left side of the frame.
“Oh, I’m not gonna kill ya,” Joker says. It looks like we can see the slightest hint of Harley’s thick black frames toward the bottom right of the scene. We’re shown a long walking shot of the entire Suicide Squad, Katana at point. Then:
“I’m just gonna hurt ya, really, really bad.”
It isn’t completely clear who Joker is saying this to, but based on the evidence of the trailer, it’s probably Harley before she’s Harley. In the comics, Quinn worked at Arkham Asylum, where Joker was a patient. Perhaps the panda breaks the Joker out, who then tortures Quinn before she becomes a psychopath herself.
So far, it looks like Joker only shows up in flashback moments, and never with all of the Suicide Squad members present. It’s unclear how he’ll factor into the story, though he obviously plays a major part in Harley’s transformation.
Also unclear is what kind of mission Amanda Waller sends the Suicide Squad on. According to IMDB, Hugo Strange is listed as one of the big characters, so perhaps he’s the main antagonist; King Shark is also listed, probably working in cahoots with Strange.
A lot of details, but still plenty of questions left unanswered. Based on what we’ve seen, however, will this outshine Batman v Superman? A lot will be riding on the performance of Jared Leto’s Joker, who is following in the footsteps of Heath Ledger. It’s difficult to judged on just one trailer (and so far ahead of a movie’s release), but things look promising so far.
Director David Ayer is bringing the right amount of grit to the movie, which needs that kind of violence in order to be effective. Suicide Squad will hit theaters on Aug. 5, 2016.