Suicide Squad, the second Warner Bros/DC Entertainment film targeting a 2016 release, represents the companies' attempt to do something Marvel so far hasn't – focus on a group of villains rather than heroes. As a concept created in 1959 by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, Suicide Squad (formally titled Task Force X) are an unpredictable ragtag team of villains and anti-heroes coerced by shadowy government forces into completing hazardous missions with the lure of pardons or reduced punishments.
Amanda Waller is given menacing new life in Suicide Squad by double Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis (Prisoners). Waller is, officially at least, the government apparatchik who will be giving out the squad's orders. Of course, it is more complicated than that, as the above on-set image hints.
"She's relentless in her villainy," Davis told Empire. "When you look at her, there's nothing that seems dangerous. Her only power is her intelligence and her complete lack of guilt." To emphasise the stress on the latter, Davis points out that she read a book called Confessions Of A Sociopath in preparation for her role. Note, too, the identity parade of Suicide Squad members behind her, presumably being sold by Waller as a viable – and deniable – means of achieving Task Force X's shady goals.
Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), better known as Waylon Jones, is described by the actor as "a cannibal with rage issues".
You can also see him alongside one of the current and future DC universe's main events – Margot Robbie's (The Wolf Of Wall Street) mischief making Harley Quinn. "She's a fan fave," producer Richard Suckle elaborates. "Funny, crazy, scary... You can't come up with enough adjectives to describe all the different things you see her do."
Quinn is, of course, ever more entwined with a malign influence we initially find incarcerated in Arkham Asylum. Jared Leto's (The Dallas Buyers Club) Joker may be in a straitjacket, but his power over Quinn's doctor is obvious right there in their body language.
Finally comes Cara Delevingne's (Anna Karenina) Enchantress. Much more than just an emo Scarlet Witch, the sorceress is an ancient force who is unleashed in the movie. "She's been trapped for so long," Delevingne reveals ominously, "and now she's finally been let out."
Alongside Davis, Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Robbie, Leto and Delevingne are Will Smith (I Am Legend) as Deadshot, Adam Beach (Flags Of Our Fathers) as Slipknot, Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher) as Captain Boomerang, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) as Rick Flagg, Jay Hernandez (Hostel) as El Diablo, Scott Eastwood (Fury) as Steve Trevor, Jim Parrack (Fury) as Jonny Frost and Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors) who is reportedly playing Hugo Strange.
Ayer is taking aim an 5 August 2016 release date and his film will be the first of the new DC Entertainment titles to follow Zack Synder's (Man Of Steel) Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.