The Mel Gibson comeback tour appears in full bloom. Following years left in the Hollywood dog house, the Oscar winner is making a serious return to big-studio properties. The latest reporting has found that Gibson appears to be in talks with Warner Bros. to direct a sequel to Suicide Squad, the DC Comics adaptation whose first iteration – from writer-director David Ayer (Fury) – opened this past summer. Deadline was the first to report with trades Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both offering further meat to the story.
While nothing is definitive at this time, conversations between Gibson and WB appear the real deal as the studio continues to double down on its DC output. Other directors who may be in contention for Suicide Squad 2 are, reportedly, Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies). While the first film – which followed a group of a veritable who’s who of DC villains tasked with joining forces against a greater evil in exchange for lighter sentences – amassed a polarizing take from both critics and audiences, the film earned upwards of $700 million at the worldwide box office, cementing blockbuster status. The film, which starred Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, also recently earned an Oscar nominated for Best Make-up and Hairstyling.
Ayer, coincidentally, is still an active part in the DC cinematic universe, as he attached with the all-female Gotham City Sirens, a project that looks to feature Robbie’s Harley Quinn and one that is currently in development.
Whether or not Gibson is given the green light for Suicide Squad 2, it’s still a fairly significant comeback story considering his prior personal comments and behavior that made him persona non grata for several years. As a director, he is fresh off both the critical and commercial success of last year’s World War II biopic Hacksaw Ridge, a film which recently received six Oscar nominations including a nod for Best Picture and a Best Director mention for Gibson himself; he was also up for a Golden Globe last month in the Best Director category. He also has a couple for projects he’s looking to direct himself – something which might interfere with Suicide Squad 2 as Deadline reported he is also attempting to develop a film centering around the Medici family.
One thing is certain – Gibson will once again be a regular fixture in cinemas. Though his last studio appearance was in the Paramount thriller Edge of Darkness (2010), he has signed on to a handful of projects coming our way. He recently completed the drama The Professor and the Madman opposite Sean Penn and has signed up to appear alongside Hacksaw Ridge co-star Vince Vaughn in the action film Dragged Across Concrete. He will also appear in Paramount’s forthcoming sequel to Daddy’s Home, portraying the father of Mark Wahlberg’s character – John Lithgow also signed on as Will Ferrell’s father.