James Gunn Explains Why Amanda Waller Wanted Rick Flag Gone

Amanda Waller has bad blood with everyone. She remains ruthless.

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Suicide Squad promo image of Rick Flag
Suicide Squad promo image of Rick Flag
Image: Warner Bros.

James Gunn is revealing his innermost secrets involving his new film The Suicide Squad. On the Script Apart podcast, Gunn talks about why Rick Flag (Joel Kinneman) is on Team one and the deleted scene that helps us understand why he’s even on this mission.

“We realize that she picked out all of the people she didn’t like, and all the people she thought were really useless, just to use as a diversion so the team she thought was useful could get through,” Gunn said. “And it’s true. Team 2 is pretty deadly. They’re pretty good at what they do… they’re the real money team. And then there’s the other team.”

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The Suicide Squad opens with Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) Blackmailing Savant (Michael Rooker) into becoming a part of team one (which Flag is a part of). The task is to infiltrate the island nation of Corto Maltese. As soon as team one touches down on Maltese soil, they are obliterated by the military. This is when Waller admits she purposely used team one as a diversion so Task Force X team could make its way through the island without issue.

It always seemed like Waller and Flag were on good terms, so why add him to an expendable team? On the podcast, Gunn details a deleted scene that describes why she made that decision.


“One thing we had to cut from the film that sometimes I’m like ‘oh, I wish we didn’t!’ is that we find out why Rick Flag is in that group,” Gunn explained. “We see a flashback where Rick Flag makes fun of Amanda Waller’s shirt. It’s this really ugly shirt with all these different colors on it, and he says, ‘It looks like a group of clowns sh*t all over you.’ And Steve Agee’s character, John Economos, is just laughing hysterically at Amanda Waller, and you can just see death in Viola Davis’s face. She just looks like death. And that’s why [Flag is] on that beach.”

At first, it seems like something like this would be beneath Waller. Why would she care about what Rick Flag feels? But no, Waller is not above being vindictive for even the most minor thing. However, it’s probably good the scene was cut because the film’s ending tells the audience why Waller was betting on Flag to die.


The Suicide Squad is currently in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.

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