Could more Suicide Squad spin-offs be coming to HBO Max?

John Cena as Peacemaker
(Image credit: HBO / Warner Bros. Studios)

Peacemaker producer Peter Safran has said he believes there is an “opportunity” for future Suicide Squad spin-offs if the right filmmaker “has a great idea” for other characters. 

Speaking with IGN to promote the upcoming HBO Max show – which itself is a serialised extension of James Gunn’s 2021 movie, The Suicide Squad – Safran acknowledged the potential to tell more localised stories about characters who weren’t fully fleshed out in the main feature. 

“I think there's some great characters that we've brought to life in The Suicide Squad,” he said, “and it would be an incredibly fun opportunity to give them their own life beyond The Suicide Squad. It's about coming up with a concept or a construct that really works and takes advantage of those characters.

“So if there's a filmmaker, whether it's James [Gunn] or somebody else that has a great idea for Bloodsport or Rat Catcher or anybody else, those are conversations that can be had."

Of course, Safran’s comments are a matter of opinion rather than an indication of any projects currently in development, but they do speak to the wider potential of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), which looks set to strengthen in 2022 with the release of new Aquaman, Black Adam, Batgirl and The Flash movies.

Brilliant... but busy

Safran’s thoughts also speak to the main (and often only) criticism levelled towards Gunn’s The Suicide Squad – while refreshingly ridiculous in its style and tone, it contains several underdeveloped characters who could otherwise star in their own standalone adventures. 

In our review, we said of the film: “By including so many wacky characters, Gunn is forced to rush the exposition behind both their powers and motivations, which ultimately sells them short. We don’t care enough about their strife because we’ve only just met them, and there’s so much of it to absorb that it’s easy to lose track [...] Gunn is [therefore] stuck between offering too little backstory for each and trimming the cast down entirely to allow more time to get to know them.”

Safran is right, then, to say that characters like Bloodsport or Rat Catcher are deserving of more screen time. He did, however, add that any future spin-offs would need to feel justified as standalone stories.

"I think it's not enough [to say] 'I want to do it with this character,'" he told IGN. "It's about [asking] what's the vision for that character? What is the tone or vibe for that particular piece of IP?”

Peacemaker, which arrives on HBO Max January 13, will see John Cena reprise his role as the titular anti-hero. Gunn has again taken the reins behind the camera, telling Variety that the eight-episode show is “an opportunity to delve into current world issues through the lens of this superhero/supervillain/and world’s biggest douchebag.”

It doesn’t sound all that different to The Suicide Squad, then. 

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.