After a prolonged wait, The Suicide Squad trailer finally arrived and it brought with it many surprises. One of the delights contained within the R-rated footage is a comprehensive look at the villain King Shark, who is an undoubtedly strange character in annals of DC Comics history. And director James Gunn, of Guardians of the Galaxy fame, managed to rope in an absolute cinematic icon to play the character, as Rocky Balboa himself, Sylvester Stallone, is confirmed to be bringing the beast to life for his big screen debut.
A series of character posters were released in the lead-up to The Suicide Squad trailer reveal. The various cast members shared their corresponding posters. And Sylvester Stallone shared the King Shark poster, suggesting strongly that he was indeed the one voicing the character in the movie. James Gunn later took to Twitter, tagging Stallone and saying, “In case you’re wondering who that shark is…” So there we have it. Stallone, in his caption on Instagram, had the following to say.
“OK shark coming your way! OK, my land shark character that I play in the new, The Suicide Squad film Is swimming your way! August 8!”
King Shark, for those who may not be familiar, made his debut in the pages of Superboy back in 1994. First as a cameo in issue #0, then in full-form in issue #9. Created by writer Karl Kesel and artist Tom Grummett, he is a humanoid shark who is the son of a figure known as the Shark God, aka The King of All Sharks. Though King Shark was relegated to relative obscurity for many years, he has become known in the mainstream thanks to appearances on shows like The Flash on The CW, as well as the Harley Quinn animated series. The character is also set to appear in the upcoming video game Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
Having Sylvester Stallone, known for his roles in big franchises such as Rocky and the Rambo series, will undoubtedly bring a whole new audience to King Shark. We got a few solid glimpses at James Gunn’s take, which is violent and bumbling. King Sharks eats one person whole, and rips another in half. In another scene, he marvels at his own hand. So there is an interesting dynamic at play. It also should be made clear that Stallone voiced the character. It does not appear he was used for on-set reference. Originally, it was believed that Steve Agee was playing the part. It’s possible Agee, instead, was used as the on-set reference.
The movie features a stacked ensemble. It sees Harley Quinn returning as Margot Robbie, with Idris Elba joining as Bloodsport. Viola Davis, Michael Rooker, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi, Daniela Melchior, Jennifer Holland, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion and Sean Gunn, among others, also star. The Suicide Squad is set to arrive in theaters and on HBO Max August 6. Be sure to check out the confirmation from Stallone’s Instagram, as well as James Gunn’s Twitter account.