Idris Elba is marking a return to superhero films with The Suicide Squad….that’s if you want to call this ragtag group of folks superheroes.
Directed and written by James Gunn, the film is a follow-up of sorts to the 2016 film and sees some of the same cast members return, though there are a lot of newcomers like Elba as well.
The film stars Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Joel Kinnaman, John Cena, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Michael Rooker, Flula Borg, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Steve Agee, Mayling Ng, Peter Capaldi, Alice Braga, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion, Sean Gunn, Storm Reid, Taika Waititi, Joaquín Cosío and Juan Diego Botto.
Ahead of the film’s release Shadow and Act spoke to several of the cast members, including Elba. With the film, Elba joins a select group of actors who have been in both Marvel and DC Comics films.
“I didn’t have an understanding of what I was going to get into,” the actor told us, citing that he signed onto the film because he knew he was going to work with James Gunn. But other than that, he wasn’t sure about it.
“I didn’t know what he wanted to do different from the other movie, but what I did realize is that he wanted to bring a new life to it, a different vibe to it. He wanted to take his experience and his sort of passion for comics, the comic world, the DC world [and] the characters…and bring that into this huge, romantic movie. The reason why I say romantic is that James Gunn was in love with this nostalgia of a film…a type of film that we haven’t seen for a while which has love…and war…and machismo…and fragility. And he really wanted to romanticize that into one film, and The Suicide Squad is that. So for me, it was a real sort of like, ‘Whoa, I’ll just go along for the ride.'”
His character of Robert DuBois, aka Bloodsport, is integral to Amanda Waller (Davis) mission and her motivations. He’s mostly an unwilling participant but ends up as a part of the team due to his daughter (Reid).
“He’s a disgruntled guy that’s sort of given up on life. He’s been there, done that, seen it all,” he said. “His motivation, though, becomes his family, which he sort of turned his back on. He has a daughter who Waller uses his daughter against him to get him to sign into the Suicide Squad, so that’s his clear motivation. From a character perspective, it was sort of great to play because it had duality and it had this sort of hard-man guy. He’s a mercenary, he’s a bit older, but he’s bad, he’s just bad. And then at the same time, he really loves his kid, [and] he also has a fear of rats [laughs]. Ratcatcher 2 (Melchior) is on the squad so you really get to understand his fragility, but Ratcatcher 2 is almost the same, slightly older than his own daughter. So he finds a real emotional thread in there.”
With The Suicide Squad being one of the first blockbusters back in theaters, Elba hopes that it marks a return to cinema.
He explained, “The world really wants to get back to the cinema. It’s a shared experience. We love going to the cinema like we like going to the beach? But what to go see? What are you going to go see? And this movie, for me, if you don’t know anything about the DC world, fair enough, but if you want to see a bunch of characters that are really interested and never seen before, that have a central theme that you can get into, that have the spectacle and grandiose of the big movie…this is it. This is that movie that you go to the cinema and be like, ‘I went back to the cinema and I watched Suicide Squad and it made me fall back in love with cinema.’ Like really, like I really think that because I think it’s got such scale, and color, and James Gunn…his work deserves to be seen on a big screen.
Watch the full interview with Elba and Kinnaman below:
The Suicide Squad is in theaters now. It will be on HBO Max for a limited time.