Joel Kinnaman’s character Rick Flag was almost written out of The Suicide Squad.
When he signed on to write and direct The Suicide Squad, James Gunn set out to create a film that served as a standalone sequel that would have little references to the previous 2016 film that was derided by critics and fans alike. The film is populated with mostly new characters including Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and Peacemaker (John Cena) just to name a few, but there were four holdovers from David Ayer’s 2016 film including Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and Amanda Waller (Viola Davis).
However, a scheduling conflict almost prevented Joel Kinnaman from returning to the role of Rick Flag, whom James Gunn wrote a sizable role for in the film. The actor was involved in the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind, and his commitment to that series almost prevented from his return to the DC Extended Universe film.
Thankfully, Joel Kinnaman has his manager and agents to thank for clearing things out for his return as Rick Flag. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Joel Kinnaman acknowledged those who had a key role in working out his schedule between For All Mankind and The Suicide Squad:
“My manager, Shelley Browning, and my agents, Boomer Malkin and Andrew Finkelstein, definitely won the agent Oscar for this because it was a really, really tricky scheduling situation And I also have to thank [For All Mankind creator] Ron Moore so much and everyone at Apple for helping out. Warner Bros. was in first position, but they couldn’t budge because it was such a big cast. So it was a really tricky scheduling thing, and it took them several months to figure it out. There were actually people at Warner Bros. that told James, ‘We might have to rewrite this because the scheduling is not going to work out.’ So I was definitely on edge, but then they figured it out.”
Thank goodness things were able to get cleared out for Joel Kinnaman’s return as Rick Flag. His role in The Suicide Squad was certainly integral to the story, and under the direction of James Gunn, the character was reimagined into a breath of fresh air and served as a great dynamic with the rest of the new members of the team.
Here is the synopsis for James Gunn’s DCEU film:
Welcome to hell—a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Trekking through a jungle teeming with militant adversaries and guerrilla forces at every turn, the Squad is on a search-and-destroy mission, with only Colonel Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave…and Amanda Waller’s government techies in their ears, tracking their every movement. And as always, one wrong move and they’re dead (whether at the hands of their opponents, a teammate, or Waller herself). If anyone’s laying down bets, the smart money is against them—all of them.
Written and directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad stars David Dastmalchian, John Cena, Jai Courtney, Joaquín Cosío, Nathan Fillion, Joel Kinnaman, Mayling Ng, Flula Borg, Sean Gunn, Juan Diego Botto, Storm Reid, Pete Davidson, Taika Waititi, Alice Braga, Steve Agee, Tinashe Kajese, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi, Julio Ruiz, Jennifer Holland, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, and Michael Rooker.
The Suicide Squad is out now in theatres and HBO Max. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming film, and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content!