One of several mysteries in Warner Bros.'s Suicide Squad is that of the character played by second-generation actor Scott Eastwood. Early rumors pegged him as Steve Trevor in some sort of tie-in to 2017's Wonder Woman (Chris Pine was ultimately cast, shooting that down); with that theory dashed, rumormongers aimed their speculations at Deathstroke and Nightwing as possible roles.
Early paparazzi set photos from May 2015 caught Eastwood in full military garb with the initials "GQ" emblazoned where typically a soldier's last name would go. Then on Saturday, German theater chain Cinemaxx listed Eastwood's character as "Lieutenant 'GQ' Edwards," something that embargoed set reports that began being published Monday have corroborated.
...but who the heck is Lieutenant "GQ" Edwards? There's no character by that name in DC Comics. Some might simply say it's a new character a la Arrow's Diggle, introduced to serve a plot point where a pre-existing character couldn't. But not so according to Suicide Squad producer Andy Horwitz, who infers that the true identity of Eastwood's character is a mystery.
"No one has guessed right," Horwitz told ComicBook. "I've seen some of the guesses [online] and no one has guessed right."
Needless to say, nobody could correctly guess a new character.
Superhero filmmakers have taken to teasing mystery roles and big reveals before, from Guardians of the Galaxy's James Gunn's rampant stoking of the identity of Star-Lord's father, to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's Zack Snyder giving careful non-committal pre-release answers to questions about the identity of Jena Malone's character (spoiler: she was revealed to be a new character named Jenet Klyburn, a forensic scientist.)
That's a dangerous game to play. If we can borrow J.J. Abrams' mystery box analogy for a second, building up a mystery and then revealing the box is empty would be anti-climactic and could burn audiences' goodwill.
But if Lt. "GQ" Edwards has an established DC identity to be "guessed right," we have one pet theory that hasn't yet gotten any play yet: Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow.
What made us think of Green Arrow? To be upfront the 'Q'. There aren't many comic book characters with a Q in their name, so could "GQ" be a sly dare-you-to-guess-it nod to Green-Queen?
Okay, okay, that's a pretty slim premise to hang a theory on, we acknowledge, but hold on, there's more...
Despite the high profile of featured characters Joker and Harley Quinn, and a cameo by Batman, Suicide Squad is lacking in any DC hero star power. Adding the somewhat iconic and now-familiar-to-TV-audiences Green Arrow to the mix would help solve that problem, and if Green Arrow was actually introduced under another, secret identity, the revelation of his character would serve as an in-film surprise reveal, the type of which was one of the more exciting, if not organic, parts of Batman v Superman.
"He's a very important part of the film and works directly alongside Colonel Flag in the mission," Suicide Squad producer Richard Suckle said of the character. "That's kind of really the best way to describe it. David [Ayer] and Scott worked [together] before. Scott was in Fury. He was sort of a last minute piece of casting by a bunch of different actors for these roles. His character was sort of existing, then it wasn't going to exist in the movie, and David wanted to bring him back. It kind of went through a back and forth and Scott just kind of naturally found a place and he had had a pre-existing working relationship."
"Sort of existing"..? What could that mean?
And working alongside Flag? It might make some story sense for Flag to have a mole/back-up on the team that isn't a psychotic villain, just pretending to be one.
Let's also keep in mind Suicide Squad isn't the first DC film Warner Bros. has developed about superheroes and prison.
Recall back in 2007 Man of Steel writer/producer David S. Goyer was working on a DC film titled Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax, featuring a wrongly-convicted Oliver Queen surviving and attempting to escape from a prison for metahumans, which would have probably been very much like, if not outright specifically Belle Reve Penitentiary, the backdrop for Suicide Squad.
Goyer had stated in an interview with Den of Geek that Warner Bros. eventually lost interest in the film because "it made no sense" for them to do a movie about villains.
Well, that changed, now didn't it?
"Okay, okay, we see where you're going with this Newsarama," you might say. "But it's still a little thin. Maybe if Supermax and Suicide Squad had some sort of direct connection, you might have something."
Well, guess what?
After passing on Supermax, in 2009 Warner Bros. hired that screenplay's co-writer Justin Marks to develop another DC movie concept centered around a metahuman prison ... yup, the first draft of Suicide Squad (which btw, is now credited solely to Ayer).
Remember what producer Richard Suckle said?
"His character was sort of existing, then it wasn't going to exist in the movie, and David wanted to bring him back."
Sounds like a character that existed in early versions of the script that was brought back at the last minute.
With or without Green Arrow, Suicide Squad comes out in theaters August 5.