ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, ‘Suicide Squad’ story details have emerged, ‘Aquaman’ seeks a director and a villain, and CBS casts is Supergirl.

‘Suicide Squad’ Searches For A New Rick Flagg as Other Details Emerge

The last time we heard from David Ayer’s ‘Suicide Squad,’ Tom Hardy was departing the project when Rick Flagg received reduced screen time in the latest draft (because Will Smith’s Deadshot was getting his role beefed up). The production was apparently eyeing Jake Gyllenhaal to fill the role, but the potential ‘End of Watch’ reunion was not mean to be as the ‘Nightcrawler’ star passed on the part. Now, the rumor mill has begun churning again and two more names have popped into the mix: Joel Edgerton and Jon Bernthal.

Edgerton feels like a natural fit for this kind of project. A recognizable (but not too expensive) actor with a terrific physical presence, he would slide right into a superhero ensemble like. Plus, he could really use a geek-friendly project like this to help us forget about ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’. Jon Bernthal hasn’t been a major player in as many big movies, but as a veteran of ‘The Walking Dead’ and Ayer’s very good World War II film ‘Fury,’ he has the proper credentials. Warner Bros. is probably looking at every man in Hollywood, so the part could easily go to anyone else. However, these names definitely give us an idea of what kind of actor they want for the role.

However, this week’s ‘Suicide Squad’ goes beyond potential casting. The first story details from the film began to leak out and some of them are pretty vague and others could potentially spoil large swaths of the film. We’ll start vague and get into more detailed stuff as we go down, so feel free to close your eyes and stop reading at any time.

Okay, let’s start with the report that Ben Affleck’s Batman will pop up in ‘Suicide Squad’ in a minor role. If true, it seems that we’ll get to see Batfleck in two films next year, first facing off against Henry Cavill’s Superman and then meeting up with Jared Leto’s Joker to help set up future films. Here’s the relevant quote:

I’ve heard for weeks that Batman will appear in ‘Suicide Squad’, supposedly in an in-story scene, likely at the end of the film and focused on certain circumstances involving the Joker.

The same rumors included additional details about the Joker’s role in the film. It seems that the other members of the team (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, etc) will be the ones actually getting their hands dirty throughout most of the film. Meanwhile, Batman’s iconic nemesis will spend the bulk of the film under lock and key under Amanda Waller’s watch, only for him to break out of prison during a riot in the third act. His role has been described as being like that of Hannibal Lecter in ‘The Silence of the Lambs,’ with the Clown Prince of Crime providing guidance and menace from behind bars.

That’s just the beginning when it comes to ‘Suicide Squad’ spoilers. Latino Review, who have provided accurate scoops in the past, posted a very detailed description of the plot, but it’s impossible to vouch for its authenticity at this point. For that reason (and because, if true, it’s a fairly in-depth description of the entire movie), we won’t include any details here ... but feel free to click on over and check it out, if that’s your thing.

Other Pieces of DC Movie News

We won’t actually see the ‘Aquaman’ movie until 2018, and we won’t even meet Jason Momoa’s Atlantean superhero until his cameo in ‘Batman vs. Superman’ in 2016 but the behind-the-scenes pieces of the film have slowly begun moving into place. We had previously heard that ‘Mud’ director Jeff Nichols was in contention for the gig (which sounded just a little too crazy and weird to actually come to fruition), but the latest buzz has ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ director Noam Murro is up for the job as well. Although we’d love to see a director as subtle and personal as Nichols tackle this kind of material, Murro already has a successful working history with Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder. He seems like the kind of guy you hire when you just need someone to shoot exactly what the studio wants. It’s a system that works for Marvel Studios (and it has produced a number of really fun movies), but we’ll still cross our fingers and hope that they pursue someone eclectic and off the beaten path.

The same report claims that the studio wants ‘Dredd’ star Karl Urban to play the film’s still-unknown villain, but won’t be able to lock him down until he’s finished filming ‘Star Trek 3.’ We have no idea what character Urban would be playing, but we do know that he’s the kind of actor who instantly elevates whatever film he’s in. So yeah, bring on a movie where Khal Drogo throws down with Judge Dredd.

But that’s still three years away. Let’s talk about 2016 and ‘Batman v Superman.’ The film’s fight choreographer Guillermo Grispo recently sat down to talk about what it was like to help create fight sequences for two iconic characters. First, he talked about the challenge in giving a skilled human like the Dark Knight a fighting chance in a match of physical skill with a nearly un-killable Kryptonian:

There’s a thought that Batman has no chance, that the Superman will squash him like a bug. But when you see the movie, and how it all comes out, there’s a very intelligent explanation as to why they would have a firsthand confrontation, though it seems to be totally to Batman’s disadvantage.

He even went on to say what everyone is thinking: yes, he’s aware of how lousy the action in Christopher Nolan’s (otherwise good) Batman movies is and that he’s dead set on showcasing Batfleck as a true martial arts expert:

Now Batman is going to fight the way I’ve always dreamed seeing him fight. He’s a character so prepared in martial arts that you can do a lot of things with him, but filmmakers usually don’t go all the way with it. Even in the last Nolan movies the action scenes aren’t very good from a technical, martial arts point of view to things like choreography, filming, bad camera movements…

A little harsh, but, let’s face it, necessary. Then again, great action scenes have never been a problem in Zack Snyder’s movies. Hopefully, the rest of the movie will match up to the surely killer visuals and superheroic fisticuffs.

The X-Men Babies Are on the Way!

Yep, 20th Century Fox is definitely doubling down on ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ being a reboot of the entire franchise. While the past two films may have jumped into the past to introduce young version of Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique, the next film will officially recast three more characters with younger thespians. In a tweet sent by director Bryan Singer himself, it was revealed that Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, and Alexandra Shipp have officially joined the film as the new Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm.

Although Shipp is a relative newcomer, we are already very familiar with Turner and Sheridan, who have showcased the chops in other major projects. Turner has consistently been one of the strongest members of the ‘Game of Thrones’ ensemble and Sheridan has turned in extraordinary performances in ‘The Tree of Life,’ ‘Mud,’ and ‘Joe.’ It was only a matter of time before a superhero franchise snagged these young ‘uns and Fox and Singer should count their lucky stars that they got there first.

Elsewhere, Oscar Isaac was asked about how the production was planning to bring his title villain to life and he shared a few vague details:

It’ll be a mix [of practical and digital]. I haven’t had a script so I haven’t had a chance to look through the script and see what the exact requirements are, but I think it’ll be a mixture of physical, aided with some robotic technology.

No matter what they end up doing, they face an uphill battle. Despite his popularity, Apocalypse is one of the sillier villains in the X-Men canon and his costume is one of the silliest outfits in all of superhero comics. It’s hard to imagine the character not going through significant changes in his jump to the big screen.

And finally, we have one more piece of Mutant movie news! After years of rejection and turmoil, the ‘Deadpool’ movie has confirmed that it will begin filming this Spring in Vancouver. No matter what ends up happening, we can be sure of one thing: it will be better than ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine.’ It has to be.

The Marvel Movie List of Various News Stories You May Find Interesting

Oscar nominee and geek icon (thanks, ‘Serenity’) Chiwetel Ejiofor is the latest name to be in the mix for Scott Derrickson’s ‘Doctor Strange.’ Could he be playing the Ancient One, the sorcerer who trains Benedict Cumberbatch’s master of the mystic arts in the first place? Maybe, but he does seem to be a little young to play anyone who uses “ancient” as part of their title. He could also be in contention to play the villainous Baron Mordo, but it would be a bit of a shame for Marvel to waste an actor with so much potential on a role that will surely be a one-and-done. Speculate away!

However, on the subject of actors who will not be in future Marvel projects, director James Gunn confirmed that Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser will not return for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2,’ but he refused to rule out the possibility of a later resurrection. We like Pace and certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him pop up again, but there are so many great villains in the Marvel universe that it would be a shame to return to a guy who was defeated to handily at the end of the first film.

After talking about a guy who could be in a future Marvel movie and a guy who won’t be in a future Marvel movie, it’s only right that we turn to a guy who wants to be in every Marvel movie. Anthony Mackie, who is set to play the Falcon again in ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ isn’t shy about how much he loves playing a superhero. In fact, he’s openly campaigning for his character to get a more traditional and colorful costume:

I want my bird, man. I want my bird!...I’ve been emailing with people over at Marvel. I’ve putting it out there in the ethos that I’m going to have a new and improved costume and come out all flashy in spandex. That’s my whole thing. I’ve just been saying it, hoping that they’ll read it and say, ‘Alright, we have to give Anthony a new costume.’ Please, dress me up in spandex!

And Mackie is also letting everyone know that he’s available if they want him to pop on over for the ‘Avengers 2’ reshoots. Or for any reshoots. Seriously. He wants in one it all:

They’re doing reshoots and that’s why I’m letting them know I’m available. So whatever weekend they want me there, I’ll fly myself out and shoot whatever scene they want me in. I heard today in one of the interviews that someone thought I was in ‘Ant-Man’. I hope so! I hope I’m in ‘Ant-Man’. I hope I’m in ‘Hulk 3’, I hope I’m in ‘Thor 3’, and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’!

And that brings us to someone who is actually in ‘Avengers 2’ but whose identity remains unknown. Remember that shot in the trailer of a mysterious woman who didn’t look like any of the actual, confirmed cast members? Well, the latest rumor (and grab your salt shaker for this one) is that she’s Mantis, a character who has connections with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Vision in the comics. So she may be obscure, but she sounds like she could be the glue that starts tying the entire MCU together.

If this is true. And we have no idea about that.

‘Supergirl’ Has Been Cast (and other TV Stuff)

It’s official: ‘Glee’ star Melissa Benoist will star in CBS’ ‘Supergirl’ series. We’ll sit neutral on this one for the time being because we think that producer Greg Berlanti has been making some awfully good decisions with ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ lately but we also have the unfortunate habit of judging anyone who had the unfortunate luck of being on ‘Glee.’ We’re sure Benoist will rock the part, but give us a little more time to overcome our unfair prejudices, okay?

Speaking of Berlanti productions, the trailer for the next episode of ‘Arrow’ has arrived, teasing Vinnie Jones’ new villain, Brick, the latest threat to a city that has seen its fair share of threats:

And yep, where there’s ‘Arrow,’ there’s always ‘The Flash.’ Always:

And yep, fans of shows-that-are-not-good will be pleased to know that a whole bunch of new ‘Gotham’ clips are online:

And finally, that brings us to the sole bit of Marvel TV news in this week’s column: a clip from ‘Agent Carter.’ So here you go: