The funny and sometimes absurd The Suicide Squad: Suicide Mission could have Superman as the main enemy of Task Force X. This was stated by the director James Gunn, who then scrapped the idea in favor of Starro, a villain much more suited to the style of the film.
In any other context, a sentient starfish in the role of the antagonist would have been a gamble, but in this film where most of the scenes are surreal, the choice not to use a canonical character like Superman was certainly apt.
Superman vs Suicide Squad: idea discarded by James Gunn
If in the theatrical version of The Suicide Squad Task Force X ends up facing an extraterrestrial starfish, in one of the script drafts the suicide squad was supposed to face Superman. That’s right, the Man of Steel was one step away from becoming the film’s villain.
He explained why things changed James Gunn during an interview with Script Apart, saying: “There was a time when I thought the team had to fight Superman. But at the time there was a lot of uncertainty about who Superman was in the DCEU and whether Suicide Squad was a part of it. Matters too big to tackle all together, so I gave up on the idea“.
According to Gunn, the Suicide Squad he would have to catch Superman for some reason, perhaps because he was being controlled by someone or a threat to humanity, with the anti-heroes ready to take on the most powerful man in the world. Removed as the main antagonist, Superman has become just a reference to give a hint of Bloodsport’s past, the only one capable of sending the Man of Steel to the hospital.
Gunn he then explained why he entered Starro and his love for that character:
I think he’s a perfect comic book character, because he’s absolutely ridiculous but also very scary. What it does is scary. It scared the shit out of me when I was a kid, putting those starfish in my face. So I thought he was a DC villain who would never appear in any other movie. If they did, it would have been a version made up of many small starfish and not a walking giant starfish, a pink and blue kaiju.
In the end the choice of Gunn using Starro as a villain proved effective, with an unusual and extremely destructive villain able to fit perfectly into a film like this.