WASHINGTON • It looks like writer-director James Gunn could be entering an entirely new galaxy.
Warner Bros (WB) has confirmed a report by entertainment news website The Wrap that Gunn will write and possibly direct the next instalment in its Suicide Squad series, which began with the money-making but critically panned 2016 title film.
The reported union between Gunn and WB/DC Entertainment seems to be a confirmation that Gunn's firing from Marvel and the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise is final, despite his directing of two surprise Guardians hits (2014, 2017) and the cast coming to his defence online.
Gunn was fired after the resurfacing of inappropriate tweets that included jokes about rape and paedophilia.
He would come to WB/DC as a big-time talent acquisition.
DC Entertainment has yet to catch up to the decade-long success of Marvel Studios, with only Wonder Woman (2017) as a certified hit in its Justice League era.
With Justice League's (2017) critical failure, and Wonder Woman standing out in part because it wasn't weighed down by strong ties to DC's eventual superhero team-up, Gunn will likely not have to worry about connecting the Suicide Squad to any other future DC movies.
Instead, he will likely be leaned on to flesh out returning - and possibly new - characters with a deeper story, better villain and stronger overall dialogue.
DC's Suicide Squad team has many parallels to Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Both comprised characters that, before the films, were known to dedicated comic book fans but lacked the visibility of superhero big guns like Superman, Batman and Captain America.
If Gunn can make it work twice with a heavily armed raccoon and a tree that says only one thing, DC likely thinks he can repeat that magic with the likes of Deadshot, Killer Croc and Katana.
Perhaps most intriguing would be what Gunn could do with actress Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, who is not only the standout character from Suicide Squad but also one of the most popular characters in comics.
Robbie will soon star in a standalone Harley Quinn film, Birds Of Prey, so there is still debate as to how big a role - if any - she'll have in a Suicide Squad film, although it would seem pointless not to try to include her.
Gunn's take on the Suicide Squad is reported to be more of a remix than a hard sequel, and given a less-than-stellar-track record with critics, WB/DC will gladly take anything but more of the same.