James Gunn explains why his King Shark isn’t a hammerhead

The delightful red-band trailer for James Gunn’s THE SUICIDE SQUAD was finally unleashed last week, and while there were plenty of standout moments, it was King Shark who walked away as the talk of the town. The man-eating fish/human hybrid was developed on set by Steve Agee and is voiced by Sylvester Stallone and is sure to be a scene-stealer when The Suicide Squad is released. In some of the more recent comics, King Shark has been portrayed as a hammerhead shark, but while the production team started out with that design, James Gunn took to Twitter to explain why they ultimately changed to the Great White design.

James Gunn added that one aspect of the character he was insistent on from the beginning was the dad-bod, as he “didn’t think King Shark would have such mammalian body structure.” Gunn also said that he was surprised by how quickly the character has joined the legions of other “cute” characters such as Baby Groot and Baby Yoda as they had tried to avoid that reaction. “Yes, I realize he’s cute,” Gunn explained. “Strange since we actively avoided neotenic designs used on cute anthropomorphic beasts to elicit that evolutionary ‘awww.’ Think Baby Groot/Yoda. His eyes are small, not big. His mouth is big, not small. And his head is tiny.” As one final bit of trivia, Gunn commented on the scene in which King Shark brutally rips a man in half. “In this bit of footage, the Shark is CG of course, but the person is real,” Gunn said. “Well, not a real person, but a practical effect by our SFX & prosthetics teams that I shot.

The official synopsis for The Suicide Squad:

Welcome to hell — a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.

The Suicide Squad will hit theaters and HBO Max on August 6, 2021.

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