AceShowbiz - "Suicide Squad 2" has found a new helmer. Warner Bros and DC have chosen Gavin O'Connor to direct and write the upcoming sequel to the 2016 anti-hero movie, which brought in $754 million worldwide despite negative reviews.
David Ayer wrote and directed the first movie, but he decided not to return for the sequel to focus on the planned spin-off, "Gotham City Sirens", which will revolve around the female villains of the DC Universe, such as Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Catwoman and Poison Ivy are rumored to appear in the movie as well, but who will play the characters are not announced yet.
Earlier this year, Mel Gibson and "The Shallows" director Jaume Collet-Serra were mentioned as frontrunners for the project, but the latter passed on it to direct Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's "Jungle Cruise".
O'Connor, who directed Ben Affleck in "The Accountant", will write "Suicide Squad 2" with his scripting partner Anthony Tambakis. He is also developing "The Accountant" sequel with Affleck set to return. His other credits include "The Americans" pilot for FX and Western movie "Jane Got a Gun" starring Natalie Portman.
The original movie's stars, including Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jai Courtney, are expected to be back for the sequel. However, filming may not begin until 2018 due to the cast's busy schedule, particularly that of Smith who is currently involved in the principal photography of Disney's live-action "Aladdin".
Besides "Gotham City Sirens", Warner Bros. and DC are developing another spin-off focusing on the Joker and Harley Quinn to be directed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra and a separate Joker origin movie. The Joker movie has Todd Phillips on board to direct Scott Silver's script and reportedly eyes Leonardo DiCaprio to star. Martin Scorsese, who is listed as a producer, is expected to be able to convince the Oscar-winning actor to take on the role.