Toronto Film Review: ‘Farming’

What if the black protagonist of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” was not a cop infiltrating a racist institution in order to bring it down, but a true believer finding a violent outlet for a psychological Molotov cocktail of internalized…

What if the black protagonist of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” was not a cop infiltrating a racist institution in order to bring it down, but a true believer finding a violent outlet for a psychological Molotov cocktail of internalized racism and pathological self-loathing? This is, roughly speaking, the extraordinary premise of British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s directorial […]

‘Farming’ Harvests International Deals After Toronto Debut

Lionsgate U.K. has acquired “Farming,” one of several international deals for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s directorial debut, which had its world premiere in the Discovery Section at the Toronto Film Festival. HanWay Films, which is handling sales, has a…

Lionsgate U.K. has acquired “Farming,” one of several international deals for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s directorial debut, which had its world premiere in the Discovery Section at the Toronto Film Festival. HanWay Films, which is handling sales, has also closed deals with Ad Vitam in France, September Films in the Benelux region, Icon in Australasia, and CDC in […]

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Made Directorial Debut ‘Farming’ So He Could Sleep At Night – Toronto Studio

While there are many reasons for an artist to strike out with their feature directorial debut, Farming’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had one that was extremely personal and expressly his own. “The genesis was literally trying to sleep at night…

While there are many reasons for an artist to strike out with their feature directorial debut, Farming’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had one that was extremely personal and expressly his own. “The genesis was literally trying to sleep at night,” the actor-turned-director told Deadline in Toronto, where his film premiered. “I couldn't sleep without writing 10 to 20 pages, and by the end of two weeks, I had a 500-page manuscript.” Produced by Michael London, the film’s title…

How Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Turned His “Excruciating” Childhood Experience Into His Searing Directorial Debut ‘Farming’ – Toronto Q&A

Becoming a series-regular on a show as storied as Lost is a lofty achievement for any actor. But for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, the path that brought him there—and to films like Suicide Squad and Thor: The Dark World—could not have been rock…

Becoming a series-regular on a show as storied as Lost is a lofty achievement for any actor. But for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, the path that brought him there—and to films like Suicide Squad and Thor: The Dark World—could not have been rockier or more challenging. It's a journey Akinnuoye-Agbaje relates in his directorial debut Farming, which premiered in Toronto this weekend. As a young boy, Akinnuoye-Agbaje was fostered by his Nigerian parents into a white working-class…

‘Farming’ First-Look Toronto Clip: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Tells His Story With Help From Kate Beckinsale

EXCLUSIVE: Lost alum Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is getting personal in his directorial debut feature, Farming, which he also wrote. Premiering September 8 at the Toronto Film Festival, the film is inspired Akinnuoye-Agbaje real-life experience with the p…

EXCLUSIVE: Lost alum Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is getting personal in his directorial debut feature, Farming, which he also wrote. Premiering September 8 at the Toronto Film Festival, the film is inspired Akinnuoye-Agbaje real-life experience with the practice of farming, a term used in the 60s in reference to Nigerian immigrants coming to Britain who would foster their children out to poor white working-class families in order to create a better opportunity for…

‘Bilal’ Film Review: Animated Saga Bogged Down by Historical Constraints

Khurram H. Alavi and Ayman Jamal’s 3D-animated historical adventure tale “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” seems like a compromise between telling an interesting story and staying true to the history. Where “Bilal” exceeds in animation and direction, it lacks in entertaining, cohesive story, possibly owing to either the directors’ desire to remain accurate to Muslim texts or the huge span of time the directors are trying to cover in a single movie.

As a child, Bilal (voiced by Andre Robinson, “Doc McStuffins”) dreams of becoming a warrior. Alavi and Jamal depict his fantasies in bright, vivid colors with dynamic movement; when the characters jump, dive or wrestle, the directors stay with the action, often as though we’re in one long, handheld tracking shot. But when Bilal and his sister are taken for slaves, the palette grows dull, brown and stagnant.

We see Bilal grow up, voiced as an adolescent by Jacob Latimore and then in adulthood by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. He is constantly humiliated by his master Umayya (Ian McShane) and his merciless son Safwan (Mick Wingert, “Sofia the First”), who likes to practice archery on Bilal and some servants.

Also Read: Fox to Launch Dubai Theme Park Featuring ‘Titanic,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Attractions

The servants are practically Disney second bananas, bumbling and frantically protecting their aristocratic charge like the Queen of Hearts’ card guards. But theirs is the sole comic relief in this film, which is tremendously dark at times, especially when Bilal is tortured by having to endure the crushing weight of a boulder on his body.

In the film’s single musical scene, where Bilal sheds tears as he sings a mournful dirge to entertain Umayya and his wealthy friends, there is no reprieve from the darkness; sorrow is these villains’ entertainment, which is psychologically twisted for a cartoon ostensibly aimed at families. Bilal’s singing sounds more like a low, aching moan than actual music.

Bilal, in Muslim texts, is considered the first Mu’adhin, a person who leads the call to prayer and who therefore possesses a beautiful voice; this film chronicles his enlightenment after meeting a benevolent master of merchants, who helps him find both his freedom and his path to the prophet Muhammed. Non-Muslim Westerners who have been reared on the animation of Disney and Pixar have been trained to think that the action would be broken up with a succession of musical interludes and ballads, but “Bilal” is a bit trickier to navigate, as it deals with religious texts and characters.

Also Read: ‘The Boss Baby’ Gets Oscar Nod, Twitter Shakes Head: ‘What Have You People Done?’

Whether the story is Muslim or not, telling a tale steeped in centuries-long belief for a mass-market audience is unbelievably difficult. Can you imagine if Mel Gibson had animated “The Passion of the Christ” and composed a series of songs for it to appeal to children? How many op-eds from religious leaders would run on the release date? Or maybe “VeggieTales” already childproofed and packaged that story.

This film occupies an interesting spot in American film releases, that of being a kind of essential educational tool: how many non-Muslims know the story of Bilal? Unfortunately, the filmmakers employ a shorthand in their storytelling, assuming audiences already know about, for instance, the ancient city of Hejaz, which was apparently a center for trade and selling slaves of Arab and African descent, and is integral to the film’s story.

Also Read: Yes, Kobe Bryant Is Now an Oscar Nominee

Other characters and story elements become insurmountably confusing if not thoroughly explained; when the master of merchants shows up to aid Bilal and offer him mercy, it’s not clear who the man is or why Bilal is so deferential to him. The same goes for the character of Bilal’s sister, who at one point just disappears, and we are led to think the worst has happened with no explanation before the subject is nearly dropped.

Though the film is at best confusing in its narrative, “Bilal” is still a showcase for the capabilities of animated cinema on the Arabian Peninsula. Every character is rendered with fine details, right down to their full and brush-like eyelashes; they’re not going for exact realism, it seems, but a stylized approximation.

Jamal had to found his own animation production company in Dubai to get this epic made with production values that might appeal to international audiences. That’s no small feat. But the directors strive to tell too much story in too little time.



Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Have a Nice Day’ Film Review: Chinese Animated Noir Is a Wry, Cool Money Chase

‘White Fang’ Film Review: Jack London Classic Gets Sturdy, Simplistic Animated Retelling

‘She-Ra’ Reboot, ‘Boss Baby’ Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation

Women Animators Pen Open Letter on Sexual Harassment: ‘This Abuse Has Got to Stop’

Khurram H. Alavi and Ayman Jamal’s 3D-animated historical adventure tale “Bilal: A New Breed of Hero” seems like a compromise between telling an interesting story and staying true to the history. Where “Bilal” exceeds in animation and direction, it lacks in entertaining, cohesive story, possibly owing to either the directors’ desire to remain accurate to Muslim texts or the huge span of time the directors are trying to cover in a single movie.

As a child, Bilal (voiced by Andre Robinson, “Doc McStuffins”) dreams of becoming a warrior. Alavi and Jamal depict his fantasies in bright, vivid colors with dynamic movement; when the characters jump, dive or wrestle, the directors stay with the action, often as though we’re in one long, handheld tracking shot. But when Bilal and his sister are taken for slaves, the palette grows dull, brown and stagnant.

We see Bilal grow up, voiced as an adolescent by Jacob Latimore and then in adulthood by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. He is constantly humiliated by his master Umayya (Ian McShane) and his merciless son Safwan (Mick Wingert, “Sofia the First”), who likes to practice archery on Bilal and some servants.

The servants are practically Disney second bananas, bumbling and frantically protecting their aristocratic charge like the Queen of Hearts’ card guards. But theirs is the sole comic relief in this film, which is tremendously dark at times, especially when Bilal is tortured by having to endure the crushing weight of a boulder on his body.

In the film’s single musical scene, where Bilal sheds tears as he sings a mournful dirge to entertain Umayya and his wealthy friends, there is no reprieve from the darkness; sorrow is these villains’ entertainment, which is psychologically twisted for a cartoon ostensibly aimed at families. Bilal’s singing sounds more like a low, aching moan than actual music.

Bilal, in Muslim texts, is considered the first Mu’adhin, a person who leads the call to prayer and who therefore possesses a beautiful voice; this film chronicles his enlightenment after meeting a benevolent master of merchants, who helps him find both his freedom and his path to the prophet Muhammed. Non-Muslim Westerners who have been reared on the animation of Disney and Pixar have been trained to think that the action would be broken up with a succession of musical interludes and ballads, but “Bilal” is a bit trickier to navigate, as it deals with religious texts and characters.

Whether the story is Muslim or not, telling a tale steeped in centuries-long belief for a mass-market audience is unbelievably difficult. Can you imagine if Mel Gibson had animated “The Passion of the Christ” and composed a series of songs for it to appeal to children? How many op-eds from religious leaders would run on the release date? Or maybe “VeggieTales” already childproofed and packaged that story.

This film occupies an interesting spot in American film releases, that of being a kind of essential educational tool: how many non-Muslims know the story of Bilal? Unfortunately, the filmmakers employ a shorthand in their storytelling, assuming audiences already know about, for instance, the ancient city of Hejaz, which was apparently a center for trade and selling slaves of Arab and African descent, and is integral to the film’s story.

Other characters and story elements become insurmountably confusing if not thoroughly explained; when the master of merchants shows up to aid Bilal and offer him mercy, it’s not clear who the man is or why Bilal is so deferential to him. The same goes for the character of Bilal’s sister, who at one point just disappears, and we are led to think the worst has happened with no explanation before the subject is nearly dropped.

Though the film is at best confusing in its narrative, “Bilal” is still a showcase for the capabilities of animated cinema on the Arabian Peninsula. Every character is rendered with fine details, right down to their full and brush-like eyelashes; they’re not going for exact realism, it seems, but a stylized approximation.

Jamal had to found his own animation production company in Dubai to get this epic made with production values that might appeal to international audiences. That’s no small feat. But the directors strive to tell too much story in too little time.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Have a Nice Day' Film Review: Chinese Animated Noir Is a Wry, Cool Money Chase

'White Fang' Film Review: Jack London Classic Gets Sturdy, Simplistic Animated Retelling

'She-Ra' Reboot, 'Boss Baby' Score Netflix Series Through DreamWorks Animation

Women Animators Pen Open Letter on Sexual Harassment: 'This Abuse Has Got to Stop'

Film Review: ‘Wetlands’

Torpid even at its most ludicrous, “Wetlands” isn’t bad in a fun way. It has aspirations—which act like weed killer on any pleasure its more lurid aspects might generate.

Torpid even at its most ludicrous, “Wetlands” isn’t bad in a fun way. It has aspirations—which act like weed killer on any pleasure its more lurid aspects might generate.

Wrong Black Guy: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Addressed as Malcolm-Jamal Warner at TCA

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is a black man and an actor. Malcolm-Jamal Warner is too. They are not the same person, however.

Late in the day Sunday during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, one writer in the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom made a pretty bad faux pas while ABC’s “Ten Days in the Valley” panel was up on stage.

This whole thing requires a bit of setup — Showrunner Tassie Cameron, Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kyra Sedgwick, Kick Gurry and Erika Christensen were in the house, representing their new limited series on the broadcast network. While Warner is in the cast, he was not in attendance today.

That pesky detail didn’t stop one woman from posing a question for the “Cosby Show” alum, directing it at the only other man of color on the panel. She ignored all of the audible groans and got through her entire query, which included references to the late ’80s/early ’90s sitcom.

Also Read: ‘Inhumans’ EP Has ‘No Idea’ How Much ABC Show’s IMAX Tickets Will Cost Fans

Everyone in the room was horrified, but Akinnuoye-Agbaje was extremely gracious in his response.

“What’s great about your question is that there ARE a few of us in this show,” he began, after explaining who he is and is not.

TCA organization members were very quick to point out that the credentialed attendee was not an official member of the critics’ group, like this one:

That question was not from a #TCA17 member, just to make that clear.

— Jason Lynch (@jasonlynch) August 6, 2017

The question-asker apologized to Akinnuoye-Agbaje for the mixup. We’re sorry too. TheWrap is not sure for what exactly, as we played no role in the mistake — it’s just something that feels important to say over and over again right now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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‘Bachelor in Paradise’: ABC Boss Talks That ‘Cheeky’ Promo, Stays Mum on What Actually Happened

‘Inhumans’ Star Defends Medusa Wig: ‘If We Only Did Things That Were Perfect, We Would Never Start’

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is a black man and an actor. Malcolm-Jamal Warner is too. They are not the same person, however.

Late in the day Sunday during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, one writer in the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom made a pretty bad faux pas while ABC’s “Ten Days in the Valley” panel was up on stage.

This whole thing requires a bit of setup — Showrunner Tassie Cameron, Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kyra Sedgwick, Kick Gurry and Erika Christensen were in the house, representing their new limited series on the broadcast network. While Warner is in the cast, he was not in attendance today.

That pesky detail didn’t stop one woman from posing a question for the “Cosby Show” alum, directing it at the only other man of color on the panel. She ignored all of the audible groans and got through her entire query, which included references to the late ’80s/early ’90s sitcom.

Everyone in the room was horrified, but Akinnuoye-Agbaje was extremely gracious in his response.

“What’s great about your question is that there ARE a few of us in this show,” he began, after explaining who he is and is not.

TCA organization members were very quick to point out that the credentialed attendee was not an official member of the critics’ group, like this one:

The question-asker apologized to Akinnuoye-Agbaje for the mixup. We’re sorry too. TheWrap is not sure for what exactly, as we played no role in the mistake — it’s just something that feels important to say over and over again right now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Marvel's Inhumans' Is 'Still a Work in Progress' Amid Trailer Backlash, ABC Says

'The Bachelorette' Racism Flap Exposes Need to 'Strengthen Our Process of Vetting,' ABC Says

Tim Allen's Politics Had 'Absolutely Nothing' to Do With 'Last Man Standing' Cancellation, ABC Says

'Bachelor in Paradise': ABC Boss Talks That 'Cheeky' Promo, Stays Mum on What Actually Happened

'Inhumans' Star Defends Medusa Wig: 'If We Only Did Things That Were Perfect, We Would Never Start'

Ben Affleck Is Batman and Daredevil: 27 More Stars in Both Marvel and DC Movies (Photos)

Despite the seemingly eternal rival between the two largest comic book brands, some big actors have been in films from both Marvel and DC.

The animosity between Marvel and DC goes back decades in the comics world, but it’s still burgeoning in Hollywood. And it turns out a bunch of actors have switched sides in that corporate war over the years — and some are making that move even now.

Ben Affleck
Marvel: “Daredevil” (2003)

DC: “Batman v Superman,” future DC Extended Universe movies

 

Ryan Reynolds
Marvel: “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Deadpool,” “Blade: Trinity”

DC: “Green Lantern”

 

Chris Evans
Marvel: Human Torch in “Fantastic Four” (2004) and its sequel, “Rise of the Silver Surfer”; Captain America in Marvel Cinematic Universe

DC: “The Losers”

Willem Defoe

Marvel: “Spider-Man”

DC: Just signed on for upcoming “Justice League” film

Michael Keaton
Marvel: In talks for the villain role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

Also Read: Michael Keaton in Talks to Play Villain in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

DC: “Batman” (1989)

Idris Elba
Marvel: “Thor,” “Thor: The Dark World”
“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”

DC: “The Losers”

 

Laurence Fishburne
Marvel: “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”

DC: “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman”

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Marvel: “Thor: The Dark World”

DC: “Suicide Squad”

Hugo Weaving

Marvel: “Captain America: The First Avenger”

DC: “V for Vendetta”

Zoe Saldana
Marvel: “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

DC: “The Losers”

Despite the seemingly eternal rival between the two largest comic book brands, some big actors have been in films from both Marvel and DC.

The animosity between Marvel and DC goes back decades in the comics world, but it’s still burgeoning in Hollywood. And it turns out a bunch of actors have switched sides in that corporate war over the years — and some are making that move even now.

Ben Affleck
Marvel: “Daredevil” (2003)

DC: “Batman v Superman,” future DC Extended Universe movies

 

Ryan Reynolds
Marvel: “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Deadpool,” “Blade: Trinity”

DC: “Green Lantern”

 

Chris Evans
Marvel: Human Torch in “Fantastic Four” (2004) and its sequel, “Rise of the Silver Surfer”; Captain America in Marvel Cinematic Universe

DC: “The Losers”

Willem Defoe

Marvel: “Spider-Man”

DC: Just signed on for upcoming “Justice League” film

Michael Keaton
Marvel: In talks for the villain role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

DC: “Batman” (1989)

Idris Elba
Marvel: “Thor,” “Thor: The Dark World”
“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”

DC: “The Losers”

 

Laurence Fishburne
Marvel: “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”

DC: “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman”

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Marvel: “Thor: The Dark World”

DC: “Suicide Squad”

Hugo Weaving

Marvel: “Captain America: The First Avenger”

DC: “V for Vendetta”

Zoe Saldana
Marvel: “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

DC: “The Losers”

‘Suicide Squad’ Won an Oscar and Twitter Is Sputtering in Disbelief

“Suicide Squad” is now an Oscar-winning film after picking up Best Makeup at the 2017 Academy Awards, and Twitter is not especially thrilled.

The DC Entertainment movie, directed by David Ayer, was ruthlessly panned by critics and many DC fans. One big reason for that: Its depiction of The Joker, played by Jared Leto. In fact, it was Leto’s makeup effects, which included a bunch of tattoos of words all over his face, that drew a lot of the criticism. (And memes. So many memes.)

But as far as the Academy is concerned, the movie’s makeup effects were good enough to beat out competitors “Star Trek: Beyond” and “A Man Called Ove.”

Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hair Styling during the award show. Apart from Leto’s Joker makeup, though, the movie included Killer Croc (Adewale AkinnuoyeAgbaje), a half-crocodile half-man villain whose whole look was makeup effects. And that was pretty impressive.

Also Read: ‘Star Trek Beyond,’ ‘Suicide Squad’ Win Makeup and Hairstyling Awards

Still, a lot of people on Twitter were not impressed. Or at least, they really didn’t want to have to now put “Oscar-winning film” in front of “Suicide Squad” when talking about it.

Suicide Squad has now won more Oscars than Peter O’Toole.

— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) February 27, 2017

Suicide Squad getting an Oscar for Makeup is like a Browns player making the Pro Bowl.

— Tom Crabtree (@itsCrab) February 27, 2017

#ComicBookOscars SUICIDE SQUAD won an Oscar! ????
The script was written in 6 weeks.
This was for makeup, which actually took longer to apply.

— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) February 27, 2017

We no longer have as many Oscars as Suicide Squad ????

— @midnight (@midnight) February 27, 2017

Just tried saying “the Oscar-winning Suicide Squad” out loud and I instantly developed asthma, hives, and horns. #Oscars

— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) February 27, 2017

I can’t believe Suicide Squad won an Oscar for writing damaged on Jared Leto’s forehead

— Stephanie Cohen (@steffi955) February 27, 2017

guys if suicide squad can win an oscar, u can do anything

— – ̗̀ cadie. ̖́- (@furiosasgf) February 27, 2017

number of oscars
spike lee: 0
boogie nights: 0
annette bening: 0
psycho: 0
alan rickman: 0
citizen kane: 0
david lynch: 0
suicide squad: 1

— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) February 27, 2017

Best Makeup Academy Award winner Suicide Squad #Oscars pic.twitter.com/iPgYxUgnnP

— Vané (@vanevanx) February 27, 2017

Feels like an appropriate time tonight to watch an Oscar winning film…so I think I’ll re-watch Suicide Squad pic.twitter.com/PsuXwdBJcJ

— the Dude (@GothamDuder) February 27, 2017

And of course, the obligatory joke about the Donald Trump presidency. Because nothing in 2017 can pass without one.

“Oscar Winning Movie Suicide Squad” is up there with “President Donald Trump” in phrases I never thought I would hear… #oscars

— RickyFTW (@rickyftw) February 27, 2017

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Suicide Squad’: Here’s What David Ayer Would Have Done Differently

That Time ‘Suicide Squad’ Star Jai Courtney Chased David Ayer Around Set Naked (Video)

Every Marvel Comics Live-Action TV Show Ranked, from ‘The Incredible Hulk’ to ‘Legion’ (Photos)

“Suicide Squad” is now an Oscar-winning film after picking up Best Makeup at the 2017 Academy Awards, and Twitter is not especially thrilled.

The DC Entertainment movie, directed by David Ayer, was ruthlessly panned by critics and many DC fans. One big reason for that: Its depiction of The Joker, played by Jared Leto. In fact, it was Leto’s makeup effects, which included a bunch of tattoos of words all over his face, that drew a lot of the criticism. (And memes. So many memes.)

But as far as the Academy is concerned, the movie’s makeup effects were good enough to beat out competitors “Star Trek: Beyond” and “A Man Called Ove.”

Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hair Styling during the award show. Apart from Leto’s Joker makeup, though, the movie included Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a half-crocodile half-man villain whose whole look was makeup effects. And that was pretty impressive.

Still, a lot of people on Twitter were not impressed. Or at least, they really didn’t want to have to now put “Oscar-winning film” in front of “Suicide Squad” when talking about it.

And of course, the obligatory joke about the Donald Trump presidency. Because nothing in 2017 can pass without one.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Suicide Squad': Here's What David Ayer Would Have Done Differently

That Time 'Suicide Squad' Star Jai Courtney Chased David Ayer Around Set Naked (Video)

Every Marvel Comics Live-Action TV Show Ranked, from 'The Incredible Hulk' to 'Legion' (Photos)

Mel Gibson in the Mix to Direct ‘Suicide Squad’ Sequel

Mel Gibson is in early discussions to direct Warner Bros.’ sequel to “Suicide Squad,” TheWrap has learned.

The “Hacksaw Ridge” helmer, back in Hollywood’s good graces thanks to the success of his pacifist war film, is on a short list to tackle the villain ensemble’s next outing. There’s no guarantee Gibson will take the job if offered however, and he is among a number of potential directors the studio is interested in.

It would be Mel Gibson’s first franchise Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje were among the original cast. The film earned nearly $750 million worldwide on a $175 million budget before P&A, despite savage reviews.

Also Read: Inside the Fight for ‘Suicide Squad’: Director Pressured to Lighten Dark Vision

David Ayer, who directed the first movie, was never expected to return to the franchise following a harrowing battle with the studio during the edit process.

TheWrap wrote a thorough investigation of the fallout between Ayer and top WB executives, who effectively locked the director out of his own editing room to deliver a lighter romp of a superhero film from the darkness of Ayer’s band of bad guys.

If he takes the job, it would be Mel Gibson’s first franchise outing and first sequel as a director.

More to come …

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Suicide Squad’: Here’s What David Ayer Would Have Done Differently

13 Worst Movies of 2016, From ‘Suicide Squad’ to ‘Trolls’ (Photos)

That Time ‘Suicide Squad’ Star Jai Courtney Chased David Ayer Around Set Naked (Video)

Mel Gibson is in early discussions to direct Warner Bros.’ sequel to “Suicide Squad,” TheWrap has learned.

The “Hacksaw Ridge” helmer, back in Hollywood’s good graces thanks to the success of his pacifist war film, is on a short list to tackle the villain ensemble’s next outing. There’s no guarantee Gibson will take the job if offered however, and he is among a number of potential directors the studio is interested in.

It would be Mel Gibson’s first franchise Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Cara Delevingne and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje were among the original cast. The film earned nearly $750 million worldwide on a $175 million budget before P&A, despite savage reviews.

David Ayer, who directed the first movie, was never expected to return to the franchise following a harrowing battle with the studio during the edit process.

TheWrap wrote a thorough investigation of the fallout between Ayer and top WB executives, who effectively locked the director out of his own editing room to deliver a lighter romp of a superhero film from the darkness of Ayer’s band of bad guys.

If he takes the job, it would be Mel Gibson’s first franchise outing and first sequel as a director.

More to come …

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Suicide Squad': Here's What David Ayer Would Have Done Differently

13 Worst Movies of 2016, From 'Suicide Squad' to 'Trolls' (Photos)

That Time 'Suicide Squad' Star Jai Courtney Chased David Ayer Around Set Naked (Video)