After the legendary failure that was 2016’s Suicide Squad, DCEU hired the Guardians Of The Galaxy-fame director James Gunn to reboot the villainous group of superheroes. James Gunn has been a well-known figure in the film industry after directing the GotG franchise and two Scooby-Doo movies. He is well-experienced in multi-star cast movie franchises as well as at balancing the screentime between them. And the success of his latest The Suicide Squad has proved it. With a flood of good reviews from the fans and the critics alike, maybe the dark reign of the DCEU movies has ended. Recently, in an interview with The Deadline, James Gunn dropped the names of the movies that inspired The Suicide Squad. These are the films he had in mind:
1. THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963)
The Great Escape was a WW2 movie directed by John Sturges. It was based on a prison escape from a German POW camp. This movie may have had the most impact on TSS as both the movies share a big ensemble cast balanced with several funny, heartfelt, and intense moments. It was because of this film that Gunn leaned towards making TSS a war movie rather than a typical superhero movie.
2. THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967)
It makes sense that Gunn drew inspiration from The Dirty Dozen as well. Both these movies consist of similar plots. However, the resemblance of The Suicide Squad with The Dirty Dozen is just too much to ignore. The latter follows an army Major who recruits some prisoners to carry out a suicide mission on enemy soil. According to Gunn, these two movies were the most influential during the production of the movie.
3. THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
Anyone who has seen the new TSS can vouch for James Gunn’s obsession with blood, gore and violence. In an interview with St Louis Magazine, Gunn owed this obsession to the zombie movies he saw in his childhood. The zombie movies like Romero’s The Night Of The Living Dead was the one he pointed out. This classic just might be the reason for the success of James Gunn in his other works as well.
4. Jaws (1975)
As revealed by Gunn, It was Spielberg’s Jaws that really inspired him to be a director. He commented that Jaws had an unusual ‘naturalistic’ side. He was so motivated by this addition that he even included it in his own movie. We can see Bloodsport and Peacemaker making a conversation like ordinary people rather than what people expect from them as two anti-heroes.
5. FRIDAY THE 13TH
When we are talking about violent movies from the ’80s, Friday The 13th tops the list. James Gunn confessed that Friday The 13th was the first film that influenced him this much. In any movie, killing off major characters is not that well-received but Friday the 13th proved these stereotypes wrong. James Gunn performed this stunt and we all know how well that worked out.
6. RAIDERS OF THE LAST ARK (1981)
Many movies have inspired James Gunn during the filming of The Suicide Squad. But he revealed to The Deadline that it was Spielberg’s other work, Raiders of the Lost Ark that motivated him to pursue a career in film. Though there are not many similarities between TSS and Raiders of the Lost Ark, the two movies really have their moments. Both these movies have a comedic setting with serious scenes embedded in between. Gunn owes his success in this industry to this movie.
7. DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
James Gunn made his debut in the Dawn Of The Dead reboot in 2004. Moreover, he paired with DCEU’s Zack Snyder for the first time during this movie. The amount of gore and violence in this movie was unparalleled and never seen before. It followed a group of people taking shelter at a mall amidst a zombie apocalypse. The movie featured comedic scenes despite the circumstances. It seems that James Gunn has mastered a wicked satirical type of comedy which is the reason for the success of The Suicide Squad. According to Gunn, it was actually Dawn Of The Dead that gave him the necessary experience to balance gore and comedy.
8. Justice League (2017)
Justice League has been a prominent movie in the DCEU and looking up to this movie just makes sense. Joss Whedon’s Justice League may not have performed well in the Box Office but the way it balanced screentime among its heroes was appreciable. Gunn had to do the same with such a big star cast and show their origin story side-by-side.
The Suicide Squad was a difficult project but James Gunn managed to make it work. What did you think of this movie? Did you catch any similarities to the Movies that inspired The Suicide Squad? Do let us know in the comments.