‘Suicide Squad 2:’ Gavin O’Connor to Direct Sequel

Director of “The Accountant” takes over for David Ayer, who directed 2016 first installment

Gavin O'Connor Suicide Squad 2

Gavin O’Connor will write and possibly direct “Suicide Squad 2,” an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.

The first “Suicide Squad,” which starred Will Smith and Margot Robbie, earned nearly $750 million worldwide on a $175 million budget (before promotion and advertising), despite savage reviews. The film holds an abysmal 25 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

David Ayer, who directed the first movie, was never expected to return to the franchise following a harrowing battle with the studio during the edit process.

TheWrap wrote a thorough investigation of the fallout between Ayer and top WB executives, who effectively locked the director out of his own editing room to deliver a lighter romp of a superhero movie from the darkness of Ayer’s band of bad guys.

Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, who helmed “Orphan” and has Liam Neeson-starrer “The Commuter” coming next year, emerged as a frontrunner in July, before the studio settled on O’Connor.

O’Connor’s “The Accountant,” starring Ben Affleck as a socially awkward numbers prodigy, grossed $155 million worldwide for Warner Bros., and he and Affleck have been brought back for a sequel.

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“Suicide Squad 2” is expected to start production next year, along with New Line’s “Shazam!”

O’Connor is represented by WME.

Deadline first reported the news.