|SUICIDE SQUADJAI COURTNEYJAMES GUNNSEMPER FI|
With large swathes of the population sitting at home, audiences have a chance to catch up on films that were released years ago and find new insights into their narrative. Recently, a fan who had been watching Suicide Squad with his family reached out to the film's director David Ayer to ask about the meaning behind the scene where the Joker is lying in the middle of a room lined with a circle of knives, guns, and baby clothes. Denying that the baby onesies were trophies after an infanticide spree on the part of the cackling psychopath, Ayer provided the following explanation for the scene instead.'No it's more innocent. Harley wanted a normal family with Joker hence the baby in her vision. I figured she would have endlessly pestered Mr. J about having a kid. So he had Mr. Frost buy some onesies. The circle represents how he sees Harley.'
The scene under discussion comes up early in the story. Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, is locked up in Arkham, and we see Joker, played by Jared Leto, in his mansion mourning her absence. He has also shown to have drawn a grin across his face using a sharpie, which according to David Ayer, is because...'He was having a hard time smiling without Harley so gave himself some help with a sharpie.'
This introduction sets up the fact that this Joker is unlike any other live-action portrayal of the supervillain as a man who is missing his demon lover. The onesies we see lined up on the floor next to the Joker later make an appearance in the scene where the Enchantress offers Harley her heart's desire, and she imagines a life of domestic bliss with her beloved Mistah J, with their babies wearing the onesies.
How the circle of knives represents Harley in the mind of the Joker is up for debate. Perhaps he fears that his affection for Harley makes her dangerous to him, and thus views her as a circle of knives drawing closer, threatening to destroy him.
This sentiment of Joker being attracted towards Harley and simultaneously hating the fact that she has made him care for her is also played out in the scene where Harley willingly throws herself into a pit of acid on Joker's command. After trying to walk away from the whole thing, Joker almost unwillingly jumps in after her and rescues her, proving that she means more to him than he can bring himself to admit.
From his explanation, it is clear that Ayer had a solid backstory and reasoning behind the script for Suicide Squad, which unfortunately did not translate very well to the big screen. But now that James Gunn has taken over directorial duties on the sequel, there is a chance to see a Suicide Squad film that gets critical acclaim in addition to minting money at the box office. David Ayer on Twitter brings us this news.
We all know the name Jai Courtney. The Australian actor first broke out on the Starz series Spartacus and later landed roles in a string of high-profile movies like Suicide Squad, Terminator: Genisys and Jack Reacher. Between those movies, he’s gravitated towards more grounded roles in dramas like Felony, The Water Diviner, and Unbroken. He himself says it’s the intimate dramas that are more to his taste.
Movies like director Henry Alex Rubin’s Semper Fi are right up his alley. It’s a family drama that deals with the military, PTSD, and brotherhood, with a third act turn towards a prison break thriller. It’s a movie going for naturalism, not spectacle, and it’s another look at what Courtney is capable of given a strong role.
Recently, we spoke to the actor about what attracts him to certain roles, drama school in Australia, and what kept him going when he first moved to Los Angeles.
Just from what I’ve read from your interviews, this seems more like your kind of movie.
Yeah. I think it probably does lean into the stuff I like to gravitate towards as an audience member a little bit, so it was nice. I like things that are little grittier, a little more paired back. Yeah, I really sort of enjoyed the scale of this film, examining relationships as the sort of hero. Sometimes it’s refreshing to not have a lot of toys to play with, and really just make it about the drama between the characters. That’s exciting to me.
With some of the movies you’ve made in the past, were there parts of the character that were familiar to you?
Obviously, I’ve put uniforms on a few times and I had the fortune of meeting individuals that are these guys for real in life. It’s always very interesting. I think we always owe to the men and women who wear badges or are in uniform in the Armed Forces to sort of portray things as accurately and authentically as possible. It’s not always easy, and it obviously, it does invite criticism as well, which isn’t totally unfair. I guess it’s just, there’s always a duty or responsibility to find something that you believe to be true in that. So, leaning on the folks that live those lives is an essential part of that and finding kind of parallels with both. It’s always important to get that research done right and I always enjoy engaging with individuals, who kind of lead similar lives to the people I’m portraying on screen.
Are you one of those actors where the research and the homework you get to do, that’s one of your favorite parts of the job?
Yeah, it’s definitely a big part of it. I don’t know, I love practically shooting so much. The process of filming, to me, is a really exciting one. It’s kind of when it all comes together, I guess...
Most of us are looking to kill some time right now, what with being cooped up in the house and all. What better way to do that than to watch one of the most beloved movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the director that brought it to life? Those who enjoy 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy will have the chance to do just that tonight, as James Gunn is attending an online watch party for his first MCU entry.
The folks at Comicbook.com have been hosting a #QuarantineWatchParty series during this period of self-isolation and social distancing. During some of these events, filmmakers who helped make the movies have joined in to share insight about the movies. James Gunn, taking to Twitter, recently revealed that he will be attending the Guardians of the Galaxy watch party. Here's what he had to say.'Okay I'll make it to this #GotG #QuarantineWatchParty tomorrow night at 9 pm EST.'
Guardians of the Galaxy marked a major turning point in the MCU. Up to that point, Marvel Studios had largely played it safe with characters that were at least semi-popular or well known to comic book readers. Even the most devoted comic fans were, at best, tangentially familiar with this obscure group prior to the movie. That makes what James Gunn did all the more impressive, as he turned a rag-tag group of aliens, led by a human named Star-Lord, along with a talking tree and raccoon, and turned it into one of the most surprising blockbusters of the last decade. It also expanded the scope of what the MCU could be and helped pave the way for movies like Doctor Strange and Black Panther. It also led to a sequel, 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
With that, having James Gunn watch along and share insight about the movie sounds like a solid way to kill a couple of hours. Who knows? Maybe someone will finally find the one, big elusive Easter egg that hasn't been discovered yet. James Gunn, meanwhile is currently busy working on The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros., which wrapped filming before the widespread production shutdown went into effect. After he's done with the DC universe, he'll be heading back over to Marvel to work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will be part of Phase 5 of the MCU.
Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive box office hit, grossing $772 million and earning high praise from critics upon release. To this day, it is consistently ranked as one of the best MCU movies to date. Those who wish to attend the #QuarantineWatchParty simply need to push play on a copy of the movie, be it a physical or digital one, at 9 p.m. EST. The movie is also available to stream on Disney+. For more information, head on over to Comicbook.com.