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Why James Gunn Was ‘Afraid’ to Cast Sylvester Stallone in ‘The Suicide Squad’ – at First

Stallone plays the fan favorite scene-stealer King Shark

James Gunn wrote the role of King Shark specifically for Sylvester Stallone, but as he explains it, he was afraid at first to approach Stallone about playing the part. The two worked together previously on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.”

“I actually had hired three different actors. I wrote the role for Sylvester Stallone. I was afraid… Sly’s my friend. … What if it didn’t work? He’s Sly! “I would’ve just had to have a voice that didn’t work,” Gunn said at a promotional event attended by TheWrap in july.

So while Steve Agee, who also plays Belle Reve warden John Economos, did the King Shark motion capture on set, they tried to audition a ton of actors to get the voice right.

“So we had a huge audition process with tons of voice actors. We had one voice actor come in and do the whole movie. It didn’t work,” Gunn said. “We had another voice actor come in and do the whole movie. He didn’t come to life. We had an actor — a really, really famous actor who was also a friend of mine — come in and do the voice. And that didn’t work!”

Ultimately, Gunn finally approached Stallone and the rest as they say is history.

“And then I was like, ‘Guys, I don’t know what to do. I think I have to go to Sly.’ And I called up Sly. He said he would love to do it. He came in and right away, that character just sort of came to life,” Gunn added.

With the movie finally out in theaters and on HBO Max, Stallone is winning audiences over with his performance as King Shark. Here is a sampling.

“King Shark steals the show!” wrote one Twitter user.

“No matter what you say, #KingShark was by far the most loveable and entertaining character in #TheSuicideSquad,” wrote another Twitter user.

Here are some more tweets.