Last summer’s blockbuster movie Suicide Squad was about a group of villains redeeming themselves (at least in the eyes of their peers) and rising up to do good in the world. In the past decade and a half, the career of actor/director Mel Gibson has taken a similar trajectory. Now, the two could be coming together, as reports say Warner Bros. is actively pursuing Gibson to direct the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel.
Nothing is in stone yet; in fact, the studio is also approaching other directors. Still, Gibson is in early talks and is said to be familiarizing himself with the material. Another director being approached for the sequel is Daniel Espinosa, who previously helmed Child 44, Safe House, and next month’s sci-fi thriller Life, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds.
For Gibson to be offered such a high profile project is a major turnaround in his career. The actor was a major star in the 1980s and 90s, best known for his roles in the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon franchises. Eventually, he turned to directing, earning an Oscar for his work on 1995’s Braveheart (which also took home the Best Picture trophy). Gibson’s controversial 2004 film The Passion of the Christ also reignited a new furor for biblical films at the box office. In 2006, the star was arrested for drunk driving and reportedly went on an anti-Sematic tirade. As a result of that event and a 2010 domestic violence incident, Gibson was essentially blacklisted in Hollywood.
With his new film, Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson seems to have redeemed himself, though — at least in the eyes of his peers. The war movie has earned six nominations at this year’s upcoming Oscar awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Interestingly enough, Gibson recently derided the modern wave of $200 million superhero tentpoles, telling an interviewer last year that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a “piece of sh*t.”
David Ayer, the director of the first Suicide Squad, is currently at work on Gotham City Sirens, a spin-off featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and a new team of female supervillains.