How James Gunn’s Suicide Squad Was Inspired by Saving Private Ryan


The opening scene to James Gunn’s Suicide Squad was directly inspired by Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and other famous war movies.

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad was inspired by several famous war films, including Saving Private Ryan. After the 2016 release of Suicide Squad received less than favorable reviews from both fans and critics, the future of the DC franchise was uncertain until Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn signed on. Guardians of the Galaxy brought the MCU into space and proved once again that movies based on obscure comic book characters could break big at the box office.

Gunn recently discussed the importance of subverting audience expectations with this film. When it was announced that he would be taking the reigns on The Suicide Squad, comparisons to his work on Guardians of the Galaxy immediately began to crop up, setting a standard to be broken before filming had even started. A significant difference between the two franchises is that The Suicide Squad will be rated R.

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Related: The Suicide Squad Doesn’t Look Like Guardians (& That’s A Good Thing)

While Guardians was Gunn’s take on a space opera, the R-rated The Suicide Squad will be his take on a war film. In a roundtable with journalists via Collider, producer Peter Safran talked explicitly about the film’s opening scene, comparing it to Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. The Suicide Squad will reportedly open with a beach scene, much like the famous D-day scene in Saving Private Ryan, where the characters will be running through the sand surrounded by the chaos of bombs, bullets, and helicopters flying by. When talking about the inspiration for the scene, Safran had this to say:

It’s a very naturalistic film and … it’s a war film, but it feels like Platoon, and Saving Private Ryan, and Black hawk down, where you’re literally in the boat with them arriving on the beach … with bullets whizzing past you and running through the sand with bullets hitting the sand and jungle leaves hitting your face as they race through.

Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Peter Capaldi as The Thinker The Suicide Squad

Another thing that brings The Suicide Squad closer to films like Saving Private Ryan than The Guardians of the Galaxy is Gunn’s dedication to working with practical effects and going beyond the limits of CGI. While scenes like the Private Ryan homage could have been filmed against a blue screen, Gunn wanted to keep things practical, making the film feel more rooted in reality despite its zany characters and premise. While there is certainly something to be said for the fantastical and unreal look that came with his previous work, rooting The Suicide Squad in a tight sense of reality could do wonders not only to set it apart from Gunn’s previous films but also the last Suicide Squad film.

While there is still a ton of mystery surrounding The Suicide Squad, it seems that fans can at least rely on a promise to expect the unexpected. Press reactions to early screenings have been overall positive, which bodes well for DC fans itching to get back into theaters after Wonder Woman 1984 and Zack Snyder’s Justice League got home releases due to the pandemic. The wait is almost at an end as Harley Quinn and her cohorts will be hitting theaters on August 6.

Next: The Suicide Squad Trailer 2 Confirms Major Villain Theory

Source: Collider

  • The Suicide Squad (2021)Release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
  • The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
  • Aquaman 2 (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023

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