Blast from the past

A look back at a career : Gavin O’Connor’s path to Suicide Squad 2


Suicide Squad was a big mess for DC Comics and for the fans, but there is a ray of hope for the upcoming sequel. Warner Bros. and DC Films have been announcing Suicide Squad 2 for a quite some time now, but now there is a concrete changes in the production team behind the movie.

As it was previously reported, David Ayer is not returning to the director’s chair for the sequel and that place is filled with the name of Gavin O’Connor.  The East coast born and raised director has been recruited to write and direct Suicide Squad 2, but according to Variety production of the movie is not expected to start until late 2018.

But what about the director himself? Is he the right choice for the sequel? In short… Yes.. Yes he is. Ever since he wrote Ted Demme’s short movie The Bet in 1992, O’Connor’s career has been on a fast track. Three years later he made his directorial debut Comfortably Numb, but his real breakthrough came with the follow up movie. I’m talking about the 1999 indie master piece Tumbleweeds that Gavin not only directed, he co-wrote it (along with his ex wife Angela Shelton), produced it, and also starred in it. Tumbleweeds was a critical and financial success, and it won Janet Mcteer her first Academy Award nomination (for best actress in a leading role).

The sports docudrama based on real events – Miracle followed in 2004, and by this time O’Connor established himself as a versatile director who’s not afraid to experiment with genres and themes. Pride and Glory was a setback in his career, but Warrior brought him back the acclaim and the awards.  Last year he presented 2 vastly different movies and they were met with 2 different levels of success.

The western Jane got a Gun was barely noticed although it was made with O’Connor’s frequent collaborator Joel Edgerton and had Nathalie Portman in the lead role (the movie also had her in a producing role). The Accountant did much better at the box office, and actually allowed him to be considered by Warner Bros. and DC FIlms to direct the Suicide Squad sequel.

So, while we wait for Suicide Squad 2, let’s take a brief moment a reflect on the career of Gavin O’Connor leading to SS2.

Comfortably Numb (1995)

Starring: Dana Ashbrook and Tovah Feldshuh
Fun fact about it: Title comes from a Pink Floyd song of the same name.

Tumbleweeds (1999)

Starring: Janet McTeer, Kimberly J. Brown, Jay O. Sanders…
Fun fact about it: The film is based on Angela Shelton’s real-life and her experience growing up with her mother, who was erratic and made her move often from one town to the next.

Miracle (2004)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Nathan West…
Fun fact about it: Kurt Russell took a pay cut, so the eight hundred to one thousand extras used as the fans at the hockey game, could enjoy a full hot meal, instead of a brown-bag lunch.

Pride and Glory (2008)

Starring: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich…
Fun fact about it: The film was made way back in 2006 and left on the shelf at New Line, destined not to see the light of day until Warner Bros. picked up New Line’s content.

Warrior (2011)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton….
Fun fact about it: Instead of going to his hotel after his flight from England, Tom Hardy appeared at director Gavin O’Connor’s door at midnight the evening before his audition. The pair ended up living together for five days.

Jane Got a Gun (2016)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor
Fun fact about it: This film is Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor’s first collaboration outside the Star Wars franchise. It is also the first time they starred in a film together in nearly a decade.

The Accountant (2016)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons…
Fun fact about it: Anna Kendrick based her character on her mother, a real accountant who went over the script and explained the math to her daughter.


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