Gavin O’Connor, who directed Ben Affleck in the hit action-thriller The Accountant, has been tapped to write and helm Suicide Squad 2.
The decision caps off months of Warner Bros. searching for someone to direct the sequel to its all-star movie. Mel Gibson was a frontrunner early in the year, while Jaume Collet-Serra, who directed the shark thriller The Shallows, was the favorite in the summer before he took the job directing Jungle Cruise for Disney.
David Ayer directed 2016’s Suicide Squad, which followed villains Deadshot, Harley Quinn, the Joker, Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc, who are forced into the service of the government in exchange for lighter sentences. Ayer is now developing Gotham City Sirens with Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie, which focuses on the female villains of the DC Universe.
It is unclear when the Suicide Squad follow-up will shoot. The cast is expected to return for the sequel, but scheduling will be an issue with the stars’ packed schedules. Will Smith is currently filming Aladdin and then is set for Ang Lee’s Gemini Man, while Robbie is currently filming Mary Queen of Scots.
O’Connor’s feature credits includes the beleaguered Natalie Portman Western Jane Got a Gun. While the director was a late-coming savior for Jane, the movie didn’t find an audience. But O’Connor did find success with Warner Bros. with The Accountant. The movie received solid reviews and earned $86 million domestically, and the studio has since greenlighted the development of a sequel, to which O’Connor is still attached to direct.