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In the world of Hollywood movie stars, few things are as valuable or intangible as chemistry. The ability of two actors to envince a natural back-and-forth can make merely average material crackle and turn good material into a classic, which is likely why the industry is so excited by Will Smith and Margot Robbie turning out to be a reliable onscreen couple.

The famed Fresh Prince star and the glamorous Australian beauty (who first wowed American audiences with her turn in The Wolf of Wall Street) breathed fresh life in the con-arist genre with Focus. Now, the pair have reunited and are heading up David Ayer and Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe supervillain team-up Suicide Squad as Deadshot and Harley Quinn, respectively.

The LA Times has released a new image of the offbeat duo in Suicide Squad, as part of a new report debating the box-office futures of various summer 2016 releases. The article, in which film editor Marc Bernardin and Hero Complex editor Meredith Woerner discuss the box-office (and quality) prospects of the summer’s upcoming slate, covers a lot of ground – with particular emphasis on the seeming ubiquity of superheroes, with Marvel Studios releasing Captain America: Civil WarX-Men: Apocalypse arriving in May, Suicide Squad releasing in August and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (a superhero film, in its own way) arriving in June.

Photo Credit: LA Times (Clay Enos / DC Comics / Warner Bros.)

Suicide Squad itself was widely seen as a risk for Warner Bros (a dark actioner about comic book baddies from the writer of Training Day and director of Fury) when it was first announced, but some now view it as the perfect DCEU film to follow Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice: a film that wasn’t the runaway success story that WB studio heads no doubt hoped for. Indeed, comics-to-film specialist Woerner doesn’t rate Suicide Squad as the project she’s most nervous about; that “honor” instead goes to Pete’s Dragon, a remake of a (let’s face it, kinda bizarre) Disney musical of the 1970s reimagined as a non-musical story of a feral child raised by a dragon in the E.T. mold.

For his part, Bernardin cites Independence Day: Resurgence as his biggest question mark, noting the absence of original star Will Smith (whose character is meant to have died offscreen between films) as a major concern for whether or not audiences will show up for the 20 years later sequel to the game-changing 1996 blockbuster. As he put it:

“Will Smith was the thing that buoyed that the first “Independence Day” from just being exploitative sci-fi pap. And without him, why make another movie? Because of that huge Judd Hirsch lobby? It was the first time we ever saw that kind of thing on that scale. “Independence Day” is a thing that doesn’t need a sequel. Catching lightning in a bottle like that is almost impossible to do twice. Especially without the lightning rod that is Will Smith.”

Ironically, Smith being AWOL from the film was reportedly at least in part due to his prior commitment to Suicide Squad. The A-lister’s character in the film, Deadshot, is an expert marksman and assassin who is among the super-powered criminals offered a reduce sentence in exchange for undertaking a high-risk paramilitary operation. While much of the film’s plot has been kept secret otherwise, it’s rumored Deadshot will have romantic tension with Robbie’s psychologist-turned-psychopath Harley Quinn – which if true could earn him a powerful enemy, as Harley is the ex-lover of The Joker (Jared Leto).

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020.

Source: L.A. Times

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