Gavin O’Connor has been announced as the writer and director for Suicide Squad 2. He’ll be taking over from previous writer/director David Ayer. Now, I like David Ayer’s body of work and I’ll even defend Suicide Squad on certain levels — send me your disapproval! — but it’s not like that movie couldn’t have been vastly improved.
And in my opinion, Gavin O’Connor is exactly the kind of improvement this series needed. And that’s because of a film called The Accountant.
A Secret Superhero Movie
The Accountant tells the story of Christian Wolff — a superhero alter ego name if I’ve heard one — an autistic genius who is brought into companies to help uncook their books. He also happens to be an incredibly capable killer as well. O’Connor directed the film with an incredibly sleek eye and made Christian Wolff into a compelling character. In truth, Wolff feels like a comic book figure and that element might have worked against the film’s favor for some viewers. They expected something more grounded and real.
But, it’s very clear that O’Connor took inspiration from superhero storytelling. He even threw in a shot of some classic comic book covers just to hammer the point home. The Accountant proved that Gavin O’Connor loves and understands what makes superheroes special. He also gets how to utilize them in the best of ways.
And that’s why he’s such a good fit for Suicide Squad 2.
“Getting” Superheroes (and Supervillains)
David Ayer tried to do his grungy, street thug take on comic book characters and it didn’t fit. Gavin O’Connor, on the other hand, is excellent at exploring the core of a character and extrapolating from that. He’s not going to make Harley Quinn or the Joker change their personalities in order to fit into a particular aesthetic. O’Connor has proven himself to be a director that puts character first. Only after that’s nailed does he move on to plot and style.
Plus, O’Connor knows how to take his presence out of the equation. David Ayer very much made Suicide Squad his own, for better or for worse. O’Connor can find what about the material works and emphasize that. He doesn’t have to make something “his own.” And his previous relationship with Ben Affleck could mean we get more Batman in the sequel. I consider that a win.
Look, if you didn’t see The Accountant, give it a watch and you will feel very good about the future of Suicide Squad 2. This is a great benefit for the sequel and the DC Extended Universe as a whole. Get excited.