An addendum to yesterday’s news announcing the ensemble cast for Warner Bros.’ "Suicide Squad," which will see Will Smith play the character known as Deadshot…
In my post yesterday, I asked whether this movie version of "Squad" would also include Amanda Waller, the leader of the Squad (in the same way Nick Fury leads the S.H.I.E.L.D.), who you might remember as the character Angela Bassett played in the "Green Lantern" movie, and by the younger Cynthia Addai-Robinson on the "Arrow" TV series.
Apparently, the character will indeed be in the "Suicide Squad" movie, although an actress has yet to be cast in the role; although, according to Variety, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey (yes, Oprah), are the studio’s top choices of actresses for the part.
Of the 3, I’d go with Viola Davis, actually. From what I know about Amanda Waller, I think Viola has the necessary intimidating, tough presence. At least, she can definitely give the audience that if she wanted to.
Comic book enthusiasts will be familiar with Waller’s, shall we say, full-bodied frame, which I suppose would explain why the studio is also considering Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey. Since her introduction in the 1980’s, the tough-as-nails leader has been depicted in comics as short and overweight, her size varying from artist to artist – a frame usually supported by stiletto heels. In more recent years, she’s sported a slimmer look – although she’s never been what we’d call "slim." Waller is actually one of the few prominent rotund characters in superhero comics. But, thankfully, her weight really has never been used for comic relief, nor is it in any way connected to some superpower. The character just is, standing out as a squat, middle-aged force to be reckoned with.
That’s why fans of the comic protested when the character was revived in 2011, sporting an entirely different look – she was suddenly now blending in with the rest of the hard-bodied, tiny-waisted, voluptuous, if unrealistic-looking hotties that rule comic book pages.
From Racialicious at the time: "What made Waller unique was that she really did look like a regular person – she just had enough of an iron will to maneuver herself into a position of power. For DC to seemingly transform her into one more skinny gal seems to be a particularly arbitrary choice in a company-wide relaunch that has already divided its’ existing fanbase. Or, if this move was made in order to entice new readers to give the new Squad a shot, then who does this company exactly want to attract?"
Interestingly, I don’t recall that there was much push-back from fans of the original character, when Angela Bassett played her in "Green Lantern" a few years ago, because she’s definitely in fabulous physical shape, and has always been. Then again, so is Viola Davis, who has a somewhat similar strong physique, and looks nothing like the Waller character as originally defined.
But I’d still go with her over Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey. I just think she has the more intimidating presence of the 3.
The Oprah pick might actually be interesting, if only because she’s Oprah Winfrey, and it’ll be a role unlike anything she’s ever done. But, she’s one of those larger-than-life celebrities who, I don’t think, can completely disappear into a role. I watch her acting in movies, and all I see is Oprah, the Queen, no matter what character she’s supposed to be playing. But maybe that’s just me…
What do you think? Who would you cast as Amanda Waller, whether 1 of the 3 on the WB’s shortlist, or someone else entirely? Whoever is eventually cast will be joining Will Smith,
The series follows a group of super-villains who are forced to go on covert missions for a shadowy government agency, in exchange for commuted sentences.
WB plans to release the movie 2016.