Ostrander Talks 'Suicide Squad' Casting, Joker, And More

– by LRM

John Ostrander is the man responsible for the modern day depiction of the Suicide Squad as we know them. His 1987 reboot of the team has become what people think of when they think of the them, completely wiping away the original 1959 incarnation of the group. So with all the news coming out of Warner Bros lately, regarding the cast and plans for their big budget film based on the group of villains, it was only natural that someone would reach out to Ostrander for his thoughts.

Ostrander seems downright giddy about the film, which is nice to see. Relations between comic book writers and the Hollywood productions based on their work can be tricky, but Ostrander is fully onboard with everything he's seen and heard. 

"I was pleased, but I wouldn't have guessed that it would have been one of the properties that they would do quite so quickly," he told Comic Book Resources. "That's a heck of a slot. It's the first movie after 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'. That places them pretty high and sure, that pleases me."

The writers also acknowledges that the premise we'll be seeing closely mirrors his take on what the team is all about. "It sounds like they are going with my original concept, which is that these are bad guys, and in order to earn their freedom, they have to go on missions, in which they could be killed," Ostrander says. "My original pitch to DC was the Secret Society of Super-Villains meets "The Dirty Dozen." This sounds like they are fully behind the whole "Dirty Dozen" concept. These are people that will get pardoned if they survive a very risky mission."

John Ostrander

John Ostrander

He's also perfectly okay with the additions and omissions made to the team's lineup. "I think Bronze Tiger would have been interesting. I think they needed a few more characters that aren't villains, because that's what we did originally, in order to make it work," he told CBR. "I think Night Shade could work either way as a hero or a villain. She has a very useful power. But again, it's a very interesting choice in having The Joker for the Squad. It will be interesting to see how they make that work," Ostrander added- addressing The Joker's inclusion despite the character never appearing as a member of the team in previous incarnations. "And if they use [Lex] Luthor, as they are evidently in negotiations to do, that would also be an interesting story element."

Overall, he seems happy with the casting so far. He thinks Will Smith will bring some much needed star power which he understands will help bring people to the theaters to see the film. He thinks Tom Hardy is an excellent actor, and he thinks nabbing Jared Leto will be great as The Joker. Of the rumored candidates for Amanda Waller, Ostrander says that Oprah Winfrey is at the top of his lift and that she was there even before the rumors began.

So there are the writer's two cents on this high-profile project. What's your excitement level like for the project? Personally, I'm pretty excited. If David Ayer brings his End of Watch form to this, it could be pretty damn special. Ayer knows how to depict antiheroes, how to ratchet up tension in really organic ways, and how to cultivate chemistry between his lead characters. He's getting plenty of talent to work with here, so this could be pretty darn special. A part of me is very surprised that they're keeping the title, though. With what a nationwide hot button issue suicide has become, I wouldn't have been surprised if the suits at Time Warner had contemplated changing the name to something without "Suicide" in the title (Task Force X, anyone?). But hey, cool.

Also, glad to see Ostrander is onboard with everything.

SOURCE: Comic Book Resources

Casting, Interviews, Film DC, Suicide Squad, The Joker, Jared Leto, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, John Ostrander