Suicide Squad will be the third entry in the growing DC Extended Universe. It also stands out as probably being the most diverse movie in the superhero genre. There are many people of different ethnicities and genders within the movie. There is one that stands out the most and that is of the team’s leader and founder, Amanda Waller. Waller is depicted (until recently) in the comics as an older black woman that was also heavyset but could still stare down someone like Batman. Though recent comics have steered away from this depiction, the movies seem to be finding a happy compromise. They got the perfect actress to play her and that would be Viola Davis.
Viola Davis has been known to play the tough lady. In fact, the first time I saw her was on an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent where she play a school security officer with a chip on her shoulder. When Suicide Squad was first announced as being a movie, Davis was definitely one of the Hollywood actresses who first came to mind. Her profile had grown with multiple award nominations in movies and television. So when the cast was announced and Viola Davis was officially announced as Amanda Waller, this was one of those perfect casting moments.
She perfectly captures the type who would forcibly recruit a bunch of criminals and send them out to their death in the name of the “greater good”. This is a fine line to walk with Waller as she is a good guy but she is very dirty about it. One has to understand why she does this even if they do not agree with her methods. You just have to look at her starring role in How To Get Away With Murder to see how complicated of a character she can play. One that is supposed to be a “good guy” but does some extremely dirty thin to get what she wants.
On a more personal note, it is refreshing to see a black woman in a starring role in a superhero movie. The only other major one that I can think of before this was Halle Berry in the X-Men movies and many would contended that that version of the character is a shell of her comics self. Viola Davis does not fit the “Hollywood pretty” type which has dominated the industry. When Amanda Waller was redesigned in the comics to be younger and slimmer and then that version appeared in the show, Arrow, it was reason to believe that they would go this way in the movie. Though Davis is not as heavyset as Waller was originally depicted, she is still a full figured woman. Not one who conforms to the slim type. So that was refreshing.
There is no question that she will be a very important character in the film. Amanda Waller has a very important role in the comics as well as being in charge of ARGUS, which is DC Comics’ answer to Marvel Comics’ SHIELD. It would be reason to believe that as the DC Extended Universe grows, so will Amanda Waller’s. It will be exciting to see how Viola Davis weaves Amanda Waller in through this burgeoning universe. No doubt that she will be encountering Ben Affleck’s Batman and that will be exciting to see.