Do Fans Need To Watch Suicide Squad 1 Before Seeing the Sequel? James Gunn Responds

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
Suicide Squad New Sequel

The drought is almost over, DC fans! 

On August 6, James Gunn's long-awaited film The Suicide Squad will make its debut both in theaters and on HBO Max.

The R-rated ensemble features a star-studded cast of the likes of John Cena, Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, and Sylvester Stallone; and ahead of its August release, the film has already received glowing reviews from critics and even spawned an HBO Max spin-off — Peacemaker — set to release in January. 

However, the film's similar title to David Ayer's 2016 Suicide Squad, as well as its status as both a reboot and a sequel, might be causing confusion for audiences. 


Suicide Squad

When a fan asked Gunn on social media whether 2016's Suicide Squad needs to be seen in order to understand his own upcoming film, the director responded with a tweet that read:

"No. You don’t have to have seen any other film to understand everything in #TheSuicideSquad."

Not only does Gunn's version share a similar title to David Ayer's, but it also shares some of the same cast, such as Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnamen, Viola Davis, and Jai Courtney.

These parallels are likely the root of some confusion. However, Gunn's version looks to be as unique and distinct as his own signature style with no prior film viewing necessary.

Still, Gunn has remained respectful of Suicide Squad's director David Ayer who feels his vision for the 2016 film remains unrealized due to studio intervention.


James Gunn recently revealed that the original title of his film's first draft was actually Dogs of War. However, he decided to submit the script to Warner Bros as The Suicide Squad as he "thought it was kind of funny." 

Surprisingly, Warner Bros. liked the idea and believed it could work, and it still might. 

Not only is The Suicide Squad's marketing different from that of the original Suicide Squad; but in the world of comic book movies and the DCEU, 2016 was a long time ago. 

It's also worth noting that in comparison to most directors, James Gunn is a well-known name who frequently interacts with fans and with the ability to market his unique style and brand. His name alone attached to this version could set the film apart. 

The Suicide Squad will release in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.