Yes, Superman was almost the villain in The Suicide Squad
What if Superman was the "Big Bad" in The Suicide Squad? It's a scenario that almost happened.
In a new interview with Script Apart, writer and director James Gunn deep-dived into his film and revealed that "there was a time when I thought The Suicide Squad should fight Superman." But alas, it was only a passing thought — because Starro was an option, and Gunn couldn't pass up the idea of having one of his favorite villains in his movie.
"He's a character I love from the comics. I think he's a perfect comic book character because he's absolutely ludicrous but also very scary in his own way. What he does is scary," Gunn explained. "He used to scare the crap out of me when I was a child, putting those facehuggers on Superman and Batman. So I thought he was one of the major, major DC villains that was probably never going to be put into another movie. And if they did, it'd have been a 'black cloud' version of Starro. Not a giant walking starfish, a kaiju that's bright pink and cerulean blue, this ridiculously big, bright bad guy."
Another factor that had Gunn hesitating about including Superman in the film? The fact that the DCEU was still finding its feet in many ways, which made TPTB a little wary. "At the time, there were a lot of questions like, 'Who is Superman in the DCEU? Is this movie outside the DCEU?', and I just didn't want to deal with it all that much," Gunn admitted.
What Gunn ultimately wanted to do with his version of the film was just "tell a good story," and it's safe to say his instincts were correct. "When I saw the film completed I felt, yeah, this was the film that we set out to do," said Joel Kinnaman, who plays Squad leader Rick Flag. "In this film, they trusted who James is, everyone has confidence in his vision."
While it would've been fun to see, adding another well-known DCEU character to the film would have probably been too much. Though it's definitely interesting to wonder what kind of story Gunn would have told. After all, who wouldn't want to see Kal-El dealing with a ton of rats?