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War On Everyone Review

Plot

Corrupt cops Terry Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård) and Bob Bolaño (Michael Peña) have a cushy lifestyle, framing hoodlums and stealing narcotics as they patrol their beat in Albuquerque. But when an evil British lord (Theo James) pings onto their radar, they find themselves in way, way over their heads.

Review

“It starts and ends with the script,” says one lowlife to another in War On Everyone, as they disapprovingly watch a low-grade porn flick. “If you ain’t got a good script, you ain’t got shit.” Fortunately, the person who wrote and directed this coal-dark crime comedy is John Michael McDonagh, the Irish auteur behind The Guard and Calvary. Both of those films are mordantly funny, unpredictable and set on the rain-moistened Emerald Isle. With his third feature, he has shifted locales to sun-baked New Mexico; but thankfully McDonagh’s delightful weirdness remains intact.

War On Everyone is a spin on maybe the most hackneyed genre of them all, the buddy-cop movie. The customary tropes are all in place: Terry and Bob ride around in their ice-blue Monte Carlo coupe bickering and stopping for cheeseburgers, reporting in sporadically to their grouchy superior (Paul Reiser). There’s a foot chase originating in a strip club and soundtracked by a Fun Lovin’ Criminals track, while another scene riffs on Beverly Hills Cop. But for every moment that seems derivative, there’s a winningly absurd scenario or inspired touch. Terry and Bob, whose names may or may not be a tribute to The Likely Lads, are introduced in hot pursuit of a mime. (“I’ve always wondered… if you hit a mime, does he make a sound?” ponders Terry, shortly before finding out.) There’s also a silly running joke involving our heroes’ ongoing feud with a SWAT team.

The bad-to-the-bones lead duo are joyously over-the-top: Terry, who has thrush and swigs bottles of beer at breakfast, is a lawman so excessively immoral he even outdoes Chief Wiggum from the famous ‘Bad Cops’ skit in The Simpsons, while Bob makes for a fine foil as the family-man partner who’s far from squeaky-clean himself. The stars are clearly having fun, too — this is redemption for Skarsgård after his bland-Tarzan misstep this summer. The villains they’re up against, meanwhile, are intentionally a lot less funny, but memorably peculiar. Theo James, best known for his role in the Divergent series, comes close to stealing the whole show as louche, Homer-literate aristocrat-scumbag James Mangan, not least because he dominates the best shot of the movie as a Steadicam prowls with him through his debauched mansion. Only a late reveal involving him is misjudged, so bleak that it threatens to tip over the whole movie.

There are other flaws: some scenes aren’t nearly as funny as they think they are (an exchange about Steven Soderbergh’s Out Of Sight starts and ends without scoring a laugh) and the plot itself fails to build up much in the way of suspense. But McDonagh — cutting with old-school line-wipes, cranking up the Glen Campbell — is clearly having a blast. The feeling’s contagious.

Verdict

A thinking person’s Bad Boys, this off-kilter indie crime comedy introduces two deliriously warped lawmen to the screen.

Nick De Semlyen ★★★★

See Matthew McConaughey, Taron Egerton and the rest of the Sing cast with their characters

Illumination Entertainment’s Sing promises to show off the performing talents of a diverse cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Taron Egerton, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and more. The company has released a new set of images showing the actors with their various animal characters, and you can check them out in two groups lower down the page, except for McConaughey, who is ruling the roost above.

Sing finds McConaughey as Buster Moon, the dapper koala who oversees a theatre that was once a grand entertainment venue, but is now falling on hard times, with peeling paint and dodgy plumbing. In a last-ditch attempt to restore the venue to its former glory, he decides to stage the world’s greatest singing challenge, throwing the doors open to members of the public who think they have what it takes.

A group of lead contestants are soon winnowed down from the chaff that shows up: a mouse (Seth MacFarlane) a crooked sort with a smooth voice, a timid teenage elephant (singer Tori Kelly), a busy mother sow (Witherspoon), who juggles the demands of her 25 piglets with her singing ambitions, a young gorilla (Egerton) who is looking for a way out of his father’s criminal activities, a punk-rock porcupine with the pipes of Johansson and a posing pig named Gunther (Nick Kroll).

James White

Alexander Skarsgard and Nat Wolff join The Kill Team

It’s not every documentary director who is handed the chance to turn their factual film into a drama based upon the same subject. But that’s what is happening with Dan Krauss’ 2013 documentary The Kill Team, which now has Alexander Skarsgard and Nat Wolff attached to the fictionalised version.

Krauss’ film followed the story of Private Adam Winfield, a soldier in Afghanistan who discovered that members of his platoon were planning a murderous scheme while on duty. He enlisted his father’s help to alert the military to the war crimes, but when his pleas went unheeded, he was left on his own, his life in danger and forced to choose between his morals and his safety. Wolff will be Winfield, while Skarsgard is the imposing Sergeant Deeks. Kraus is busy writing and preparing to direct the new movie.

“When we first saw Dan Krauss’ documentary, we were shocked by this story and blown away by his direction,” producers Marty Bowenand Wyck Godfrey tell Deadline. “His film’s scope and tension, combined with these morally ambivalent characters, made it irresistible to watch.”

Skarsgard is on screens now in War On Everyone and will next be in our cinemas with Duncan Jones’ Mute, which is shooting now. Wolff has worked on James Franco’s In Dubious Battle and is part of the cast for Death Note, which will be out next year.

James White

What We Do In The Shadows sequel is called We’re Wolves

There was plenty of joyful swearwolving when we learned in August last year that What We Do In The Shadows co-directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi were planning a follow-up about the loony lycanthrope characters introduced in their vampire comedy. Now we know the film is tentatively titled We’re Wolves.

Previously called What We Do In The Moonlight, the new, even punnier title is still largely under wraps, but will focus on Rhys Darby’s Anton and his polite pack of lycanthropes who try their best to follow a strict code of behaviour, despite the temptation every full moon to turn into howling beasts.

Quite what they’ll be up to is locked in the minds of Clement and Waititi for now, and we’ll have to wait to see it as the latter will be slightly busy working on Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel, when he’s not promoting his latest comedy, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, which just premiered at Sundance and has a trailer online. He also has an idea for the story of a boy in the Hitler Youth during World War II, but that will likely be pushed back further by everything else he has going on. Still: more werewolves? We’re well up for that.

James White

First look at Andrew Scott in crime thriller Steel Country

Did you miss him? If so, good news. Andrew Scott is back in action in a new US-set crime thriller called Steel Country. 

Scott plays a small-town Pennsylvania trucker in the film. When a young boy is found dead in the western part of the state, the freight-hauler turns gumshoe to find out what happened. His quest soon tips ominously into obsession, though.

The movie, which has been shooting in Atlanta, has something of a British flavour. The King’s Speech producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin put the project together for his Bedlam Productions company, with Simon Fellows (Malice In Wonderland) behind the camera.

Co-starring with Scott are The Fall’s Branagh Waugh and Denise Gough (’71). Scott also has Holocaust courtroom drama Denial upcoming, along with a possible return to nemesis duties in Sherlock.

Phil De Semlyen

Charlie Hunnam talks King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

“He calls it fuck-dust. He liberally sprinkled fuck-dust on the film.” ‘Fuck-dust’ is, according to Charlie Hunnam, the term Guy Ritchie assigns to achieving just the right dose of magical realism.

For a boy who grew up “carving sticks into swords”, it was “a childhood dream come true to play King Arthur", (and for the seemingly unconventional choice of Guy Ritchie, no less) Hunnam affirmed to Empire. “[Ritchie’s] created a very rich, exciting world. I describe it to my friends as Lord Of The Rings meets Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. [It’s] an unlikely marriage of two things, but it works.” Maybe not such a leftfield choice of director after all.

As expected, the British director has a unique vision for the famous king. “We wanted to make an ignoble Arthur, at least at first,” Hunnam says. “We wanted him to feel contemporary, selfish, somewhat rough around the edges.”

The director also had a novel way of making sure Hunnam was the right Arthur for his film, pushing the actor so hard about being in shape that he snapped during the audition process. “I said, ‘You know what? Fucking stop the camera. I’m starting to lose my temper. I know those other pricks you’ve got reading for this role (namely Henry Cavill and Michael Fassbender). If you bring them in right now, I’ll fucking fight them both at once for the role, and we’ll see what’s up with the physicality.’ Guy said, ‘Fucking hell, alright – calm down, mate.’” Though we’d surely be foolish to bet against Supes and Magneto, it sounds like Hunnam is ready for the challenge.

King Arthur is released in cinemas on 24 March 2017.

- Emma Thrower

Domhnall Gleeson eyed to play Winnie the Pooh creator AA Milne

Whilst Winnie the Pooh has been a pop cultural icon for decades, less has been shown about his creator, AA Milne. My Week With Marilyn director Simon Curtis is looking to change all that, and has Domhnall Gleeson in talks to play Milne in Goodbye Christopher Robin.

The film will follow the relationship of Milne and his son Robin, who became the inspiration for Christopher Robin and whose toys provided the characters for Milne’s most famous work, including Pooh himself, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. It wasn’t always the easiest time for the gather-son duo, but working on creating the residents of Hundred Acre Wood helped with that.

Gleeson himself is much in demand at the moment; currently back in the black coat as the sneering General Hux for Star Wars: Episode VIII, he’s looking to split time between that and playing one of the founders of National Lampoon magazine in Netflix-backed film A Futile And Stupid Gesture. After those are complete, he’s attached to work with his Frank director, Lenny Abrahamson, on the latter’s adaptation of Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger, and has drug trafficking drama Mena due to arrive on screens in January next year.

James White

First teaser for Netflix’s Lemony Snicket series

Looking to succeed in adapting Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket tomes where Paramount faltered back in 2004, Netflix has now announced that A Series Of Unfortunate Events will premiere on Friday 13 January next year. The news was delivered by the teaser, which you can find below.

Snicket’s first book kicks off the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans – Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny – whose evil guardian Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance. The siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling his many devious plans and disguises, in order to discover clues to their parents’ mysterious death.

Neil Patrick Harris is giving it his best scheming panto villain as Olaf (you can hear him chuckling in the distance in the teaser) and Patrick Warburton is Snicket, our suitably dour guide to the dreadful events. Eight episodes are initially on the way thanks to show-runner Mark Hudis and producer Barry Sonnenfeld and we’ve high hopes for this version.

James White

Spectre’s Andrew Scott joins legal drama Denial

With Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Spall leading the cast, legal drama Denial is now shooting, but has found room for Spectre and Sherlock’s Andrew Scott.

Though we normally expect to find him as a wrong ‘un these days (he was one of the main antagonists, besides the title character’s ego in Victor Frankenstein too), Scott this time will be a solicitor named Anthony Julius.

Adapted by David Hare from Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book History On Trial: My Day In Court With A Holocaust Denier, the film will find Lipstadt (Weisz) fighting a legal battle for truth against David Irving (Wilkinson), who sued her for libel when she labelled him a holocaust denier. It was up to Lipstadt and her team to prove the vital legal truth that the Holocaust was a real event.

Mick Jackson is directing the film now in London with Caren Pistorious, Jack Lowden, Alex Jennings and Harriet Walter in the cast. While Scott won’t show up in the Victorian times Sherlock special on New Year’s Day (unless the gang is being really sneaky), but he will be seen in the new Swallows And Amazons and Alice Through The Looking Glass, the latter of which lands here on May 26.

James White.

Duncan Jones’ Mute will be a Netflix release 

Duncan Jones’ new sci-fi noir Mute has been bubbling under since his debut, Moon. The release model has changed significantly since it was first conceived. According to Alexander Skarsgård, a guest on this week’s Empire Podcast, Mute will have a Netflix release with a day-and-date theatrical run.

“I think they’ll do what they did with Beasts Of No Nation,” he tells Empire, “where they do a theatrical simultaneously to a Netflix release.”

The film, which is currently shooting in Berlin, promises to bring a Blade Runner-like style to the VOD service. "I’ve just got back from Dublin where Duncan showed me all the renderings and the visuals of it,” adds Skarsgård, "and I’m very, very excited about it.”

Mute is set in a dystopian Berlin 30 years in the future. Skarsgård plays Leo Beiler, a mute bartender who has to track down his missing girlfriend. “It’s about a guy who was in an accident as a kid,” explains the actor. "He’s ex-Amish, so he lives a very monastic life: he doesn’t have a cellphone or anything like that. He’s left the [Amish] community but he still kinda follows the rules.”

Jones has promised a crossover with the Moon universe (or Mooniverse). So does Sam pop up in Mute? “Maybe,” teases Skarsgård. If you’re in Berlin, where the film’s shooting shortly, keep your eyes peeled for Sam Rockwell. Paul Rudd will definitely be there. He’s playing an American surgeon who may have a clue as to the missing lady’s whereabouts.

Phil De Semlyen

Andy Samberg’s on the wing in the new Storks trailer

We’ve had a couple of chances to take a look at new Warner Bros. animated adventure Storks, which features Andy Samberg voicing one of the titular birds. The new trailer adds a little bit more plot and a lot more jokes. Take a look below.

Storks is set at a time when the birds, led by Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) have left the baby-delivering business behind and switched to handling packages for an Amazon-style mega-corp called Cornerstore.com. But when a family’s request for a new addition unexpectedly shows up to be dispatched, Junior (Samberg) and human Tulip (Katie Crown) decide they’re going to make sure the infant girl makes it to her parents, with Tulip, long considered an orphan, hoping it might also find her own family in the process.

Of course, it’s against company policy, so the unlikely pair is soon being chased down by others, including an unusually silly wolf pack (led by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele). This is one group of feral canines that apparently shares some abilities with the Wonder Twins…

With Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell also in the voice cast and Nicholas Stoller writing and directing alongside Pixar veteran Doug Sweetland, Storks will flap into Aussie cinemas in October.

- James White

Mad Max: Fury Road – the black-and-white version is on its way

“Oh, what a day. What a lovely day!” George Miller’s post-apocalyptic Oscar winner may have been released back in May last year, but there’s nothing we at Empire enjoy more than a bit of Fury Road news.

The Australian director has previously spoken of his love for a black-and-white cut of the film he put together whilst shaping the version that graced the big screen all those months ago, but it was hard to say whether we would ever, err, witness it.

The beady-eyed Blu-ray collectors amongst you may have noticed that a pre-order link for the 6-disc ‘High Octane Collection’ is now available on Amazon Germany, including all four Mad Max films and a ‘Black and Chrome’ version. No prizes for guessing what that is, then…

According to Amazon, the ‘surreal black-and-white version of Fury Road’ (which apparently has the same 120 minute running time as its theatrical counterpart) will appear alongside some previously unreleased documentaries and four hours of ‘new bonus material’.

The Green Place might not look quite so green – and there’s no Australian, UK or US release date for the box set just yet – but consider this confirmation of a new chance to live, die, and live again in surreal fashion on the Fury Road. If you don’t mind, we’re off to spray paint our faces all shiny and chrome.

Emma Thrower

9

Idris Elba’s big bad leads off new Star Trek Beyond IMAX posters

Like a flock of tribbles, Star Trek Beyond’s posters seems to be travelling in large batches. Warping online is a pretty nifty collection of character promos, showcasing – if that’s the right word to use about a psychotic space bastard – Idris Elba’s big bad Krall. Cast an eye down the page for the full gallery, also including Zoe Saldana’s Uhura, Sofia Boutella’s Jaylah and Simon Pegg’s Scotty.

Star Trek Beyond finds Kirk (Chris Pine), Bones (Karl Urban), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and co. in the middle of their five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new… you know the drill. Despite the excitement and adventure of deep space exploration, the routine of charting the unknown has started to weigh on the captain, who is beginning to question his choices.

But he’ll be confronted with more than existential malaise when a brand new race, led by the driven Krall (Elba) seriously attacks the ship, leaving the crew separated, stranded and facing their biggest challenge yet.

With Saldana, Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin (who also co-wrote the script with Doug Jung) and Shohreh Aghdashloo in the cast, Star Trek Beyond, directed this time by Justin Lin, reaches Australian cinemas on July 7. Here’s the latest trailer.

Phil De Semlyen

First trailer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny

Once subtitled The Green Legend, the long-awaited sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is finally ready to leap on to our screens. The first trailer for what is now called Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny is online and can be viewed below.

Adapted from the fifth book of Wang Du Lu’s Crane-Iron pentalogy, Silver Vase, Iron Knight by writer John Fusco, the movie’s plot has been kept largely quiet, though Michelle Yeoh’s Yu Shu-Lien returns, and the story involves redemption, sacrifice and the fight to keep an ancient, powerful sword out of the grubby hands of a warlord.

With fight choreographing legend Woo-Ping Yuen in the director’s chair, Yeoh is joined for this one by Donnie Yen as Silent Wolf, Harry Shum Jr as Tiefang, Jason Scott Lee as Hades Dai, Juju Chan as Silver Dart Shi, Chris Pang as Flying Blade, Darryl Quon as Turtle Ma, Roger Yuan as Iron Crow and Shuya Chang as Jen Yu. Netflix is backing this one, and will have it ready for streaming from February 26. There is still a plan to release it in cinemas, and though details weren’t given, we’d imagine it’ll either be day and date or close to the small screen launch.

James White.

Ethan Hawke Playing Chet Baker
He’s on to be the legendary jazz trumpeter

Jazz seems to be very in at the moment, with Don Cheadle at work on a Miles Davis film and Whiplash bringing the intensity of jazz drumming to screens. Ethan Hawke is looking to get in on the act, playing trumpet iconic Chet Baker in Born To Be Blue.

Robert Budreau has written and already begun directing the film, which will primarily shoot in Sudbury, located in Ontario. Hawke, who has been involved with the development on the project, will be playing Baker at a later stage of his life, having come through years of drug abuse to stage a comeback.

Carmen Ejogo and Callum Keith Rennie are on board to co-star in the movie, which will be out touting for buyers at this year’s American Film Market next month.

Hawke was most recently seen in Boyhood, and has Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline plus the thriller Regression awaiting release. He’s also been at work on Ti West’s revenge Western In A Valley Of Violence.

James White.

Exclusive new trailer and poster for Oscar Isaac’s Mojave

Oscar Isaac had one hell of a 2015, enjoying scene-stealing roles in the likes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Ex Machina. 2016 promises to be just as fruitful, with appearances in X-Men: Apocalypse– and now, indie crime thriller Mojave. Empire has an exclusive new look at Mojave’s first trailer and poster.

Set in the Californian desert of the title, it sees Isaac on villainous duties, playing a mysterious drifter named Jack who comes up against depressive artist Thomas, played by Garrett Hedlund.

Mark Wahlberg and Walton Goggins also star in the film, which is being directed by William Monahan, best known for his screenwriting work on the likes of The Departed (for which he won an Oscar),Oblivion and The Gambler.

John Nugent

Meet Quicksilver - Evan Peters Talks X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Get to know your new favourite mutant a little bit better…

So, who is Quicksilver?
He’s a mutant stuck in this time, I guess, in 1973. He’s not afraid of showing his powers. He’s so fast no-one can see him… I think it’s one of the coolest powers to have. It’s super cool to be able to do that – it gives him an attitude. He’s faster than hell. He’s the fastest guy on earth, so that gives him a certain cockiness. Everybody’s so slow to him. He’s a little impatient, and he’s a funny guy. A fun character.

You’re shooting American Horror Story right now – the scheduling was touch and go for you, wasn’t it?
Yeah, it was touch and go. They were trying to work out the scheduling for a while. It was very difficult for the people here and on the show.

Did you audition for the role?
Bryan called me and said there was a cool role in the film, and it was going to involve a lot of motion capture. It was one of the first offers I ever got. I thought, “I have to take this.” It’s a pretty good role and it’s X-Men. I love X-Men. The first couple of days have been stressful because I’m in these scenes with great actors. It’s been a great working experience. I’ve been learning a lot from how smart they are and how creative and coming up with new ways to do stuff on the day. There’s a lot of stuff that’s made up on the day.

Had you met any of the cast before?
I’ve met Michael [Fassbender]. He’s a cool dude, one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met. Super nice. There’s a cool moment where we break him out of prison, and we first kinda meet and see it each other, there’s a cool “Do I know you?” moment. There’s some cool stuff thrown in there about him being my dad, but I don’t know it at the time and I don’t think he knows it either. But the fans will know that.

How much did you know about Quicksilver before you got the role?
Very little. I knew he was quick and that his hair was silver. (laughs) I didn’t know anything about him. I got a bunch of comic books, including X-Factor, and that had some really good stuff in there about him being impatient and wanting everyone to hurry the hell up. It’s cool the way they do it in the comic books with the blur. He’s so super-fast he has an arrogant air about him.

What’s different about your take on the character?
This Quicksilver is a bit of a klepto, a bit of a thief. He’s so fast no-one can catch him. He starts out stealing shit. His room is full of TVs and dog food and all sorts of stuff.

You’d think he could take over the world with that power.
He could. But that is his only power. In the comics, they’d find ways to defeat him. Theoretically, he should be king of the world. For him, when he moves so fast time for everyone else just stops.

External image

And that’s what you’re filming today. The kitchen set today is really brightly lit. Is that uncomfortable for you?
We just got in there today. I didn’t know it was going to be so bright but the goggles helped a lot.

Bryan was saying that the goggles are there partially for that, and also so his eyes won’t explode.
He wouldn’t be able to keep his eyes open at Mach 5, or whatever he moves at.

It’s quite an interesting look that Peter has.

I showed up for the wardrobe fitting and he originally had some pretty colourful clothes. Bright, dorky clothes which were cool but they showed me me this punk rocker dude look and it fits the fact he’s a thief a little bit. He likes Pink Floyd and tries to slow himself down a little bit. He needs to try to chill out.

He wants to try listening to Floyd, then.
(Laughs) A little Dark Side Of The Moon should do it, with Wizard Of Oz on five different TVs.

Obviously, you’re not the only Quicksilver audiences are going to see.
I think it’s cool, man. I like both movies. It’s a cool thing. I don’t know what they’re going to do with it. This is a very original thing. I didn’t really find it in the comic books, they’ve created their own Quicksilver for the past. It’ll be cool to see Quicksilver develop.

In Avengers 2, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is playing Quicksilver. Does this mean everyone from Kick-Ass is going to have a go at some point?
(Laughs) Yeah, Nic Cage is going to play him as well.

When was the last time you saw Aaron? Because you weren’t in Kick-Ass 2.
I saw him at Comic-Con and we were real friendly. He was excited for me. I think it’s going to be a completely different kind of Quicksilver. He’ll be older and more mature, and hopefully will get recruited as an Avenger.

So, the big question, then. Who’d win in a race?
I don’t know. Probably Superman.

From Slipknot To Captain Boomering (And Back Again): Meet The Suicide Squad
All the characters from David Ayer’s villainous superteam explained

Suicide Squad, the second Warner Bros./DC Comics film targeting a 2016 release, represents the companies’ attempt to do something Marvel so far hasn’t: focus on a group of villains rather than heroes. As a concept created in 1959 by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, Suicide Squad is a revolving team of super-villains who carry out missions for the US government in exchange for commuted sentences. Formally titled Task Force X, they’re an unpredictable bunch, but then that was itself predictable, given their largely villainous nature. For those whose first introduction to the characters was the casting of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and the rest in the upcoming film adaptation, here is a handy guide to the group that will hit screens on August 5 next year…

Rick Flag Jr./Rick Flagg Jr.

Played in the movie by: Joel Kinnaman

Bio: As with so many comic book characters, there are different incarnations of Flag. The name Rick Flag has been used by three generations, all of them military men, and all linked in some way to a version of Task Force X. The main Flag is described as a former fighter pilot whose brush with death and tragedy – in his case, his entire unit being wiped out – pushed him towards an early attempt at the squad that fared little better. He agreed to lead the squad overseen by Waller and chafed at having to work alongside villains, balking at any idea that he and Deadshot (see below) might be similar. Expect similar conflict in the film, while the presence of Corina Calderon playing a character called Grace points to the potential inclusion of the love of Rick’s life, Karin Grace.

Deadshot

Played in the movie by: Will Smith

Bio: Floyd Lawton has a reputation as the world’s greatest marksman and works as a hired assassin. Thanks to an overpowering death wish, he was willing to kill anyone for the right price, but on the flipside was committed to protecting his estranged ex-wife and daughter. He pre-dates the squad’s birth as he was originally created by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed and Lew Sayre Schwartz in 1950 as a prime villain for Batman. He’s known for his trademark eyepiece and mask, which Smith will be wearing during the film.

The Joker

Played in the movie by: Jared Leto

Bio: He’s the one character in the film who doesn’t need and introduction as he’s been a pop cultural icon since Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Bob Kane brought him to cackling life as Batman’s primary antagonist in 1940. He’s possibly the most famous comic book villain out there, appearing on TV and whenever Bats has hit the big screen. In the past, the likes of Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger have played him, and Leto has a lot to live up to embodying the Clown Prince of Crime, the Jester of Genocide, the Harlequin of Hate, and the Ace of Knaves. He’s usually seen first as a criminal (in the comics, one named Red Hood) who falls into a vat of chemicals that bleaches his skin, colours his hair and renders him insane. It’s unlikely that will be explored here, as, like Ledger before him, Leto’s Joker appears to be fully formed when we meet him. The Joker isn’t a member of the squad itself but rather an inmate at Arkham Asylum that early drafts of the script had Harley Quinn trying to break out.

Harley Quinn

Played in the movie by: Margot Robbie

Bio: Harley is an unusual creation in the DC Universe in that she first appeared in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series in 1992 and proved so popular that she was added to the comic books. Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, she’s a frequent accomplice and often lover for The Joker (not the healthiest relationship, as you might imagine), sharing his penchant for madness, violence and unpredictability. She is also usually portrayed as a talented psychiatrist with the alter ego Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzelc (subtle!) In the relaunched timeline of the comic books, she goes on a murderous frenzy of vengeance after a falling out with ol’ smiley face and is forcibly inducted into the squad. Robbie’s performance will be the second time she’s been seen in live-action form, after short-lived DC TV series Birds Of Prey.

Captain Boomerang

Played in the movie by: Jai Courtney

Bio: George “Digger” Harkness is an Australian thug who gets his name from the high-tech boomerangs he utilises to commit crimes. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in 1960, he’s usually found causing trouble for The Flash, at one point nearly killing the hero by strapping him to a giant boomerang and shooting it into space. He likes boomerangs, is what we’re saying. A less-than-effective villain, he’s also known for his abrasive personality and frequent racist outbursts, though we wonder how much of that latter aspect will make it into the movie.

Enchantress

Played in the movie by: Cara Delevingne

Bio: Enchantress has had a couple of different variations through the years. First created by Bob Haney and Howard Purcell for National Comics (which became DC) in 1966, she appeared in Strange Adventures. Also known as freelance artist June Moore, she’s initially a heroic character empowered by a magical being called Dzamor (bless you) to battle evil creatures. But when she later returns to comics, she’s become misguided, and an enemy for Supergirl, among others. She’s recruited into Task Force X in an attempt to curb her villainous side but her very first mission unleashes it full force. She learns that the Enchantress side is a separate evil entity controlling her and takes measures to eliminate it. Her powers include healing, teleportation and the ability to affect any non-living object with her magic. She can also walk through walls, which seems a little redundant, given the whole teleportation thing.

Killer Croc

Played in the movie by: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Bio: An enemy of Batman dating back to 1983 and first crafted by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan, Killer Croc, is, as you could infer from his name, a super-strong villain with a crocodile-like appearance. It’s later revealed that it’s because he was born with a form of atavism that gave him reptilian traits. His was not an easy youth, hated by his drunken aunt and spurring him to a life of crime. He boasts superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, stamina, durability and senses. Plus, he can swim like no one else, and he’s also an expert marksman. He spends a lot of his time in Arkham Asylum, but will end up at Belle Reve for the film.

El Diablo

Played in the movie by: Jay Hernandez

Bio: There have been three characters of differing alignment using the pseudonym El Diablo in the DC Universe and it would appear Hernandez is playing Chato Santana. Originated by Jai Nitz and Phil Hester, he ended up in Belle Reve prison after burning down a building containing gang members who owed him a debt. Upon discovering that there were innocent women and children inside, he gave himself up to police. On death row, he was forcibly recruited into the Suicide Squad and implanted with a micro-bomb to ensure his obedience. Among his powers is the ability to control fire, which will be handy on squad camping trips.

Slipknot

Played in the movie by: Adam Beach

Bio: Nothing to do with the band, his alter ego is Christopher Weiss and he was created by Gerry Conway and Rafael Kayanan in 1984. Beginning his career as the humble employee of a chemical company, he develops a formula for durable, powerful ropes and is indoctrinated by a criminal organization known as the 2000 committee dedicated to taking over the world by, you guessed it, the year 2000 (bit late there, guys). Sent to help kill a hero named Firestorm, he fails and ends up in police custody while also attracting the attention of the Suicide Squad. Recruited, he’s sent on missions with the team until a fateful day when, encouraged by Captain Boomerang, he decides to test whether the bombs they’re all forced to carry to stop them going too far out of range are fake or not. Answer? Not. Result? One exploderised right arm. We have no idea if Ayer will put that concept into the film, but we would not put it past him.

Katana

Played in the movie by: Karen Fukuhara

Bio: AKA Tatsu Yamashiro. First appearing in the DCU in 1983 as a creation of Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo, she was content to live with her husband and family until her brother-in-law, who had competed for her affections, killed him in a duel with a mysterious, mystical sword known as the “Soultaker.” Fleeing after her family is also killed, she trained with a master called Tadashi and then travelled to the US in order to fight for justice using the Katana name. She’s often been found as a member of a team called The Outsiders, assembled by Batman during a disagreement with the Justice League. But she has also crossed paths with the Suicide Squad, and it appears she’s part of the team in the movie.

Amanda Waller

Played in the movie by: Viola Davis

Bio: First crashing into the DC Universe in 1986 as the product of John Ostrander, Len Wein and John Byrne, Amanda Blake Waller is renowned as one of the most ruthless characters in espionage and politics. Despite possessing no superpowers, she’s highly trained in logistics, strategic management, military tactics, game theory, espionage and martial arts. Escaping a Chicago housing project following the murder of most of her family, she went on to study political science and became a congressional aide. Her access to the upper echelons of government led to her learning of the early versions of the Suicide Squad and pitched a new variant, earning the chance to oversee its operations. She proved to be a controversial leader, often disagreeing with and outright defying her superiors in Washington to pursue her own agenda. She’s also widely disliked by the squad. The feeling, apparently, is mutual.

Also appearing…

There are several other actors whose characters have yet to be fully confirmed. Ike Barinholtz is reportedly playing Batman nemesis Hugo Strange, an evil genius and psychologist who has massive intelligence and combat skills, who crated Monster Men to do his bidding. Jim Parrack will be Johnny Frost, one of The Joker’s henchmen. Raymond Olubawale is listed on the IMDB as King Shark, known in the comics as a humanoid shark (the clue’s in the name, people), while Common and Alex Meraz’s characters have yet to be named, though the former could be Bronze Tiger. And we can expect cameos from Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, both of which are established in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

James White.