In March 2016, it was announced that Warner Bros. would bring Ayer and Smith back for a sequel, to be shot in 2017. The following month, Ayer expressed an interest in making the sequel R-rated. On December 13, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter announced that a Suicide Squad sequel is officially under development. On February 15, 2017, Mel Gibson, Ruben Fleischer, Daniel Espinosa, and Jonathan Levine are in talks to direct the sequel to Suicide Squad.  The next day, Variety's Justin Kroll tweeted that if Gibson wants to direct the sequel, it's his. On March 15, 2017, Adam Cozad was hired to write the screenplay for the script. Deadline reported that Jaume Collet-Serra is the new frontrunner for the sequel with Smith and Robbie set to return. Zak Penn turned in the recent story treatment of the film with the new script being written. Warner Bros hopes to have production on the film started by March of 2018  On September 6th, 2017 Gavin O'Conner has signed on to write and direct the film with Anthony Tambakis co-writing with him and production is hoping to start production in the Fall of 2018 due to the actors busy schedules.  On January 11, 2018, Michael De Luca was announced to have joined Suicide Squad as a producer with Charles Roven. With the announcement of Birds of Prey fast-tracking production it's been said that production on Suicide Squad 2 is on hold so Birds of Prey can film, however, if everything goes right, the film could begin production right after Birds of Prey finishes.  On June 7, 2018, Todd Stashwick announced on DC Movie News he was co-writing Suicide Squad 2 with O’Connor and David Bar Katz, which Hollywood Reporter also corroborated on June 8, 2018.  On October 9, 2018, The Wrap, and Hollywood Reporter revealed that Gavin O’Connor had left the project after growing frustration over his script and Birds of Prey having a similar story and the project being delayed for the other so he decided to leave to focus on his other project, The Has-Been. Now James Gunn is locked in to rewrite the film in a brand new take and possibly eyes to direct the film.  On January 30, 2019 it was announced that Suicide Squad 2 will release on August 6, 2021 under the new title The Suicide Squad.  As well as James Gunn in talks to direct the film with the intent to “relaunch” the squad with possibly new characters. On March 6, 2019, Idris Elba was announced to be in talks to replace Will Smith as Deadshot due to Smith exiting the film due to scheduling conflicts, with Robbie expected to reprise her role as Harley Quinn.  On March 29, 2019, Jai Courtney confirmed his return to the film as Captain Boomerang.  On April 17, 2019, John Cena was reported by Variety to be in talks to join the film, the role could be Peacemaker.  On April 29, 2019, David Dastmalchian has been announced to play Polka-Dot Man.  On April 30, 2019, Daniela Melchior was announced to be in talks to play a genderswapped Ratcatcher in the film.