The release of The Suicide Squad is less than a month away and while we don’t know any more spoilers than your average fan of superhero movies, there’s a good chance James Gunn’s reimagining of the property is going to do at least one thing better than its 2016 predecessor: It will live up to its name.
In spite of a long list of DC Comics characters — some of whom already appeared in DC’s other adaptations — Gunn made it clear last October that no one in his Task Force X is safe, including Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. He also described the movie as a “war caper,” a cinema sub-genre known for its high body counts.
So, based on the details we do have about the film, here’s who we’re betting will — and won’t — survive the events of The Suicide Squad.
- 1 Javelin: Dead Man Walking
- 2 Captain Boomerang: 50/50
- 3 Savant: Don’t fall in love with him
- 4 King Shark: He better survive
- 5 Weasel: He won’t make it to the vet
- 6 Peacemaker: 50/50
- 7 Blackguard: Later, Pete
- 8 Amanda Waller: She’ll probably be fine, but never say never
- 9 The Thinker: His Golden Age is over
- 10 Rick Flag: 50/50
- 11 T.D.K.: As dead as a Joss Whedon space western
- 12 Polka-Dot Man: 50/50
- 13 Mongal: Earth will be her last stop
- 14 Ratcatcher II: 50/50
- 15 Bloodsport: Mostly safe, with a dash of maybe not
- 16 Harley Quinn: About as safe as you can get
- 17 Editors’ Recommendations
Javelin: Dead Man Walking
Get the coffin ready. He’s done.
No matter how accurate individual guesses prove to be, it’s a fair bet that the majority of Task Force X will be snuffed. And more than any other character in the film, Javelin seems destined for death. He’s marked. He’s cursed. He’s a corpse dressed like a dessert.
And no, it has nothing to do with his ridiculous outfit or his lame “power” (he has a long stick).
From what we’ve seen in the trailers, there appear to be two teams in this version of Task Force X. What we’ll call “Team 1” is the larger group, of which Harley Quinn is a member. Team 2 is led by Bloodsport (Idris Elba). One of the only members of Team 1 we see on the same screen as Team 2 in the trailers is Harley Quinn. Not only does this imply Harley may be one of the only survivors of Team 1, but in the trailers she’s armed with Javelin’s namesake — something he probably wouldn’t abide if he were alive.
There’s a decent chance Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) will be cracking open beers in the afterlife before the end of The Suicide Squad. He’s part of the (likely doomed) Team 1 roster, and as one of the few returning supervillains from 2016’s Suicide Squad, his death would have more impact than the mostly-new D-List bad guys on the team.
However, he’s got a better chance at making it out than most of Team 1. In both the material and The Suicide Squad‘s predecessor film, Boomerang is one of the most treacherous members of Task Force X and is more than willing to throw his teammates under the bus for his own benefit. If he can find a way to bypass the explosive restraints used by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), he’ll run for the hills before the badder bad guys can get him. He might even cut a deal to help them.
The trailers make it clear that Savant (Michael Rooker) is no one to be trifled with. They also strongly suggest his time in the film is brief. In what is almost certainly the final battle between Task Force X and the Godzilla-sized, starfish-like creature Starro, Savant is nowhere to be found. He may be good at knowing where bouncy balls go, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to live to see his own solo franchise.
King Shark is a fun character, and it doesn’t seem to matter how differently he’s portrayed in various media. He’s the official tech support for the villain team of the Harley Quinn animated series, and he comes off like a tenured professor in the trailer for the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League game, but judging by the trailers for The Suicide Squad, the DCEU version of King Shark makes Game of Thrones‘ Hodor look like a gifted conversationalist.
And we’re not alone in hoping he survives the film. When the first trailer dropped, fans took to Twitter, making half-joking pledges about what they’d do if the shark god doesn’t survive. There’s a good chance he’ll make it, but a similar hero-of-few-words bit the dust at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, so I won’t trust Gunn on this one until I see it.
Weasel: He won’t make it to the vet
If you’re the kind of person who likes pets that really shouldn’t be pets, and you’re hoping Weasel (Sean Gunn) will be available for adoption after the film’s release, you’ll probably be disappointed.
Not only is Weasel part of Team 1 — who look like they may as well be heading to the Red Wedding — but in the “Rain” trailer, Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) says Weasel has killed “27 children.” So it’s not like Gunn will lose any points with fans for turning Weasel into a rug.
On one hand, Peacemaker (John Cena) seems like a shoo-in for the list of survivors. He’s crazy, funny, and on Team 2, and we already know James Gunn is making a Peacemaker series for HBO Max.
Getting his own Disney+ series didn’t stop Loki from getting an early death in Avengers: Infinity War, though. The Peacemaker show could feature a version of the character from another timeline or be a prequel series if he does indeed die in the film, and although he’s part of Team 2, he’s notably absent in all the shots we’ve seen of the battle between Task Force X and Starro.
Blackguard: Later, Pete
If Javelin is the most likely to go the big Legion of Doom in the sky, you can rank Blackguard (Pete Davidson) as number two on that list.
Judging by what we’ve seen in the trailers — that he first thinks Weasel is a dog, and then is easily convinced that he’s actually a werewolf — Blackguard might actually be the least intelligent member of a team that also includes two animal people. Honestly, the fact that he survives long enough to get his costume on is probably a significant accomplishment.
Since Waller is usually relatively safe behind the scenes, it may seem strange to even consider her safety. After all, critics ripped David Ayer’s Suicide Squad to pieces, but Davis’ turn as Amanda Waller was consistently singled out as one of the bright spots of the film.
Although it’s likely she’ll see the other side of The Suicide Squad, it’s far from guaranteed. Don’t forget: She wound up embroiled in the violence of the first film, and in most portrayals of Waller — whether it’s Davis, Cynthia Addai-Robinson on Arrow, or even the version voiced by C.C.H. Pounder in the kid-friendly Justice League Unlimited — betrayal comes as easy to her as breathing. There’s always the chance a disgruntled survivor of Task Force X could pay her an unexpected visit.
If the trailers are any indication, Peter Capaldi’s version of this supervillain from the Golden Age of comics won’t make it to the credits. While he’s a powerful psychic, the Thinker’s abilities are pretty limited when things get physical. And as a guy who appears to be recruited in the middle of the story and is usually portrayed as an arrogant jerk, his squad-mates probably won’t have enough emotional investment to watch his back when things get dicey.
Rick Flag is the backbone of the Suicide Squad and the closest thing Waller has to her own representative in the field. So taking out Flag could be seen as endangering any follow-ups.
On the other hand, as the only member of Task Force X who’s there by choice, Flag’s death could act as a final catalyst for the surviving squad members to do the right thing. Oh, and in the trailer’s shots of the battle with Starro, Flag doesn’t appear to be anywhere around.
Based on the laughable DC Comics character Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, Nathan Fillion’s T.D.K. is not long for this or any other world, and it genuinely feels a little silly to bother making an argument for the prediction.
But since you asked, here goes: He’s barely in any shots of the various trailers, and his super power — the ability to detach his limbs at will — has limited applications, to put it mildly. If your goal is to play a practical joke on health care workers, T.D.K. is the dude to call. Otherwise, he’s meat for the grinder.
James Gunn told Games Radar that he chose Polka-Dot Man for The Suicide Squad by checking search engines for “the dumbest DC character of all time.” So, you’d assume David Dastmalchian’s character would be one of the first to die. And yet, it looks like Gunn could actually be playing with audience expectations by turning this walking, talking Twister mat into one of the film’s few survivors. He shows up often in the trailers, particularly in scenes from the battle with Starro.
Still, Gunn could easily pull the rug out from under Polka-Dot Man at the last minute. Just imagine: Polka-Dot Man finishes his story arc, triumphantly yells “I’m a superhero!” and then something very bad happens to him. You know it’s possible.
Mongal: Earth will be her last stop
From what we’ve seen in trailers and images, The Suicide Squad‘s version of the alien Mongal (Mayling Ng) is the most nerfed member of Task Force X. In the comics, Mongal is Hulk-sized and could easily go toe-to-toe with heavy hitters like Superman. Meanwhile, in the “Rebellion” trailer for the film, she’s screaming in terror while struggling to take down a helicopter. It’s a safe bet that she won’t be seeing her homeworld again.
It remains difficult to imagine exactly how much Daniela Melchior’s rodent whisperer could possibly contribute to anything other than making Indiana Jones’ dad feel uncomfortable. Regardless, shot after shot in the trailers show her rat swarms tearing into the action, including a scene from the city-shattering clash with Starro. She also seems to be one of the only Squad members to develop an emotional connection with one of her teammates — the Kryptonian-crippling Bloodsport. It could go either way for Ratcatcher II.
As one of the more visible members of the eponymous team, as well as one of its leaders, Bloodsport has a decent chance of making it out alive — especially when you consider that if Elba has expressed interest in reprising the role, Gunn would be nuts to kill him off.
If you were to look at it in a slightly different way, however, the fact that Bloodsport appears to volunteer for Task Force X chiefly to help his daughter could make his death hit the audience exactly the way Gunn wants. If he does die, his exit won’t be as easy to brush off as that of D-listers like Blackguard and Javelin.
While yes, Gunn has assured fans that he received no directives from DC, Warner Bros., or anyone else to keep any specific characters alive, I think it’s safe to say Harley Quinn’s particular brand of crazy won’t be cut short by The Suicide Squad.
Why? It has less to do with so-called “franchise armor” and more to do with Harley’s overall DCEU arc. The entire point of 2020’s Birds of Prey was to liberate Harley from the shadow of the Joker to be her own hero, anti-hero, villain, or whatever else you want to call her. To follow that up by killing her off in an ensemble film would hit an ugly and awkward note, and the DCEU has already suffered far too many of those.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Suicide Squad premieres August 6 in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max.