Joel Kinnaman praises The Suicide Squad’s ‘lighter tone’ and co-star John Cena

Joel Kinnaman has good things to say about James Gunn’s Suicide Squad reboot and his co-star John Cena.

Joel Kinnaman is a busy actor between his film and broadcast commitments for Netflix (as the star of Altered Carbon) and Apple TV Plus (on upcoming drama For All Mankind), but he finds time lately to talk up his return to the Suicide Squad’s lineup as Rick Flagg.

Speaking with Variety on The Big Ticket podcast, he chatted about James Gunn, the script for The Suicide Squad, and its more comedic tone compared to the last film:

“He’s an incredible guy. He’s written a fantastic script. It’s so funny… I feel like I’m shooting my first comedy. There are a lot of really funny people there. It’s like a learning experience. I’m around a lot of incredible funny people.”

Kinnaman is used to darker and more mature content with a Cyberpunk angle that takes itself very seriously, from his star-making turn in the 2014 RoboCop remake to the Blade Runner-like Altered Carbon. Gunn’s Suicide Squad might offer a change of pace on screen, but the set should have an energy similar to before.

After all, it sounds like Kinnaman is having as much fun, if not more, on the set of Warner Bros.’ sequel/reboot of their DC Extended Universe franchise, which is now filming in Georgia.

At the time of filming, he called the set of the 2016 David Ayer picture a “lovefest” that lasted five months. Working on Gunn’s version, he looks to be hanging out and making new friends all over again.

Co-star and WWE wrestler John Cena — rumored to be playing Peacemaker, a revamped Charlton acquisition DC obtained in the ’80s — will probably share some scenes with Kinnaman. For now, the two are in the gym training together to get in that Squad shape.

Cena’s wrestling background might lead some to doubt the power he is capable of, but Kinnaman got to see for himself firsthand. During a lunch break, he observed the multi-time WWE Champion bench a reported 4,000, lbs. and then move into stretches and splits like it was nothing. “Damn..,” thought Kinnaman. “But you know he probably can’t move that well.. I’m smooth and flexible..”

Proven wrong, the two posed for an Instagram selfie in the aftermath:

The Suicide Squad is John Cena’s first movie with Joel Kinnaman and James Gunn. It’s also his first comic book movie (unless you count Bumblebee with all the tie-in Transformers comics). Former rivals Dave Bautista and Dwayne Johnson already made that leap. Bautista is world-renowned as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy and Johnson is prepping hard for Black Adam in 2020.

Joel Kinnaman was rumored for Rick Flagg and The Suicide Squad since it was announced but only confirmed fairly recently. His first indication of a return was an Instagram post of himself at a shooting range with stunt performer and military consultant for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, Kevin Vance.

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Written and directed by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad stars Kinnaman, Cena, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Taika Waititi, Pete Davidson, and a host of others who might not make it to the end. The film hits theaters on Aug. 6, 2021.

Are you excited for The Suicide Squad? Be sure to leave your thoughts below.