Hero Nation Podcast: A ‘Black Widow’ Legal War At Disney & ‘The Suicide Squad’ Producer Peter Safran On James Gunn, Idris Elba & Amber Heard

It has been a tumultuous day in the superhero and sci-fi space: We’ve seen a Black Widow lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson, a Doctor Who shake-up and the UK premiere last night of Warner Bros.’ The Suicide Squad, all of which we talk about on this week’s podcast. We also have producer Peter Safran on how he worked with James Gunn to bring his zany Dirty Dozen-inspired vision for The Suicide Squad to life.

You can listen to this week’s Hero Nation podcast here:

How long will Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow breach-of-contract lawsuit with Disney drag out? As Dominic and I discuss today, it’s going to be a very long road given Disney’s history of lawyering up. Should Johansson prevail in her efforts to garner additional compensation for Disney’s dynamic window experiment with the Marvel movie (reports have it that she’s been burned more than $50M), it will truly be a game-changer in an industry that’s obsessed with the streaming-theatrical day-and-date model. Safran provides his two cents on how Warner Bros. pivoted during the pandemic with a big screen-HBO Max release of Suicide Squad. 

On a lighter note, I didn’t believe Dominic when he told me that Idris Elba moonlighted as a DJ, but Safran illuminates how the SAG-winning actor actually made time during the production of Suicide Squad to spin records.

Warner Bros

Safran also tells us how he hooked Gunn for the DC sequel after the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker was briefly sidelined by Disney due to old Twitter jokes. He describes the director’s excitement about the John Cena-led spinoff HBO Max series Peacemaker, how he’s mapping out the DC universe with Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Speaking of Aquaman, Safran relates the reasons filmmakers stuck with star Amber Heard despite a social media campaign by Johnny Depp fans to remove her from the sequel.

In addition, Dominic and I sort through the future of the BBC’s Doctor Who franchise without Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall. The Time Lord will live on.

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