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But while it wouldn't be fair to spoil the identity of Nathan Fillion's Suicide Squad character, we can say the actor had a blast playing him
Nathan Fillion has played lots of superheroes. Captain Hammer, Vigilante, Hal Jordan – Earth’s first Green Lantern – in a series of animated projects, Wonder Man in Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. stop-motion series on Disney+, and of course he was The Holy Avenger. The Christian hero pops up in writer/director James Gunn’s extremely messy midnight movie Super, a very dark comedy in which Rainn Wilson plays an unstable man inspired by Fillion’s character to fight crime in costume.
Fillion has been a member of Gunn’s repertory company for a while now, having starred in his 2006 alien-invasion creeper Slither and turned up, under heavy makeup, in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy. So when Gunn announced the cast list for his new DC movie The Suicide Squad, of course Fillion was right there… as a character identified only as T.D.K.
Who’s T.D.K.? I’d never spoil it. But if you’re hoping those initials stand for “The Dark Knight,” and Gunn is pulling the ultimate bait-and-switch by casting Fillion as this movie’s Batman… well, no, that’s not happening.
Fillion does think it’d be great, though: “I am the night,” he intones in a pretty decent Bat-voice as we start our Zoom interview. But no, he’s not playing Batman. Yet.
T.D.K. is someone else – one of a dozen or so expendable super-criminals conscripted into a top-secret task force. And Fillion’s not the only member of Gunn’s informal repertory company running around in the movie; his Slither co-star Michael Rooker is in there as well, as are Steve Agee and the writer/director’s brother Sean, both of whom have worked with him at least as often as Fillion.
“James Gunn clearly has people he enjoys working with, and I’m never going to argue him that,” Fillion says. “There is something really wonderful about being able to go to work with people who you know what to expect [from], as far as what you can rely on, as far as their talent. What are they going to be like? How do they deal with adversity? And are you gonna have a good time? It’s two hours up on screen, but the day-to-day of making a movie, it’s an undertaking. It’s a sacrifice. It’s a lot of hard work. But James Gunn is the kind of guy who clearly enjoys his job and makes it really enjoyable. I mean, I’ll never say no to James Gunn. “
And then there’s the whole costume thing. Like most of the other actors with whom he shared scenes – among them Margot Robbie, Pete Davidson, Flula Borg, Mayling Ng and Jai Courtney – Fillion got to go to work every day in a bespoke supervillain costume, which he says made it a lot easier to get into character.
“The costumes are almost characters on their own!” he says. “I would put on this outfit, and as each layer comes on it gets more and more complex… I love Halloween. I love the idea of making my own costumes. And the attention to detail that these teams of people had, in the short amount of time they had to complete these costumes – I can’t imagine the stress. But now here I am, head-to-toe, a comic book character and the little 11-year-old inside me is screaming ‘Finally!’ And I haven’t even hit the set yet to see everybody else’s costume and see everybody else looking incredible. It’s amazing.”
Watch the entire conversation on NOW’s YouTube channel, or stream it right here: