With SHAZAM! rocketing to theaters next month (or earlier for those taking part in the Fandango early access screenings), I had the chance to talk to AQUAMAN and SHAZAM! producer Peter Safran about the upcoming DCEU superhero pic, as well as a few other topics set in that universe, including the upcoming THE SUICIDE SQUAD, which is written and to be directed by James Gunn and serves as a reboot of sorts with a host of new and returning characters. Yesterday saw the news that Gunn was rehired by Disney to finish his GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 for Marvel, which caused many to question whether Gunn would still continue with THE SUICIDE SQUAD. I asked Safran if that would be a conflict for him or for Gunn, but he says it was all worked out to accommodate both. In addition, he clarified the title of the film and explains why we should be excited about it, as well as his feelings on the Marvel/DC "rivalry". Check out our exchange below:
Yesterday we found out that James Gunn was rehired to do Guardians 3. Does the put any pressure on him or you to push Suicide Squad or Guardians out any faster?
"No, it was all handled incredibly elegantly and everybody knows on both sides that Suicide Squad is the priority today and he’ll finish that movie and then everybody knows that his next film will be Guardians. It’s the best of all possible both worlds, I think, for fans and for James Gunn himself."
How excited should people be for Suicide Squad 2?
"First of all, we don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 ‘cause it’s a total reboot, so it’s The Suicide Squad and I think people should be extremely excited about it. It’s everything you would hope from a James Gunn script and I think that says a lot and that promises a lot and I know that we will deliver a lot."
Safran goes on to comment on the long-lasting "rivalry" between Marvel and DC and how both he and Gunn feel about it:
"And you know what I love about James directing for both Marvel and DC is he has always espoused the view that that which unites comic book and superhero lovers is much greater than that which divides us. Because, there’s always been this Marvel/DC rivalry, which he has said, and I agree, is absurd. There’s room for everybody and certainly that which unites us all is far greater than that which divides us, so hopefully they’ll see that you can be both a Marvel and a DC fan and the world won’t spin off its axis."
Safran had a tremendous year with the mega-hit that was AQUAMAN and prospects are looking good for SHAZAM! which is tracking to make an electric debut opening weekend (I predict it will overperform, especially once word-of-mouth kicks in). He is also producing THE CONJURING 3, ANNABELLE COMES HOME, as well as the AQUAMAN sequel and spinoff of THE TRENCH, not to mention THE SUICIDE SQUAD. He's got a full dance card in both the superhero and horror genre, without question. We'll have much more from his interview for SHAZAM! to follow, both here and with audio on The Beard and The Bald podcast.
SHAZAM! flies into theaters on April 5th!
What do you guys think about Gunn taking on both THE SUICIDE SQUAD and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3?