The Suicide Squad will not release early, even though the film is completely finished.
Director James Gunn's upcoming DC Extended Universe installment is scheduled to hit theaters and HBO Max in August, but he locked final picture well in advance of that date. Earlier this week, Gunn announced The Suicide Squad is done, including all of the visual effects work. The fact The Suicide Squad didn't have any of the typical tentpole pickups and reshoots certainly helped in the regard, as Gunn and the crew didn't have to reassemble for additional filming during the pandemic.
While there are still a few months before The Suicide Squad comes out, Warner Bros. is doing their part to generate hype. The marketing campaign is in full swing, with character posters, two trailers, and other materials releasing over the past month. The red band Suicide Squad trailer broke viewer records, illustrating how excited audiences are to see the finished product. With The Suicide Squad already done, some were hoping the movie's release date could be moved up, but that won't be happening.
On Twitter, Gunn responded to a question about the possibility The Suicide Squad gets an earlier release. The director said the film will stay in August, allowing it to be seen by more people in theaters. Check out his post below:
Gunn's reasoning makes sense. Though The Suicide Squad will be streaming on HBO Max, the movie was made to be seen on the big screen. Holding off the film's premiere until the late summer should improve The Suicide Squad's box office prospects - similar to how Black Widow's projections increased following its delay to July. Open theaters are starting to expand their maximum capacity, and more people will get vaccinated between now and August. This isn't to say movie theaters will be back to a pre-pandemic normal by late summer, but Godzilla vs. Kong's box office performance shows how willing people are to go to the multiplex. The Suicide Squad only stands to benefit by waiting until August.
Besides the box office, WB's release slate is another factor that makes a Suicide Squad delay highly unlikely. It's important to keep in mind The Suicide Squad is a cog in a larger machine, and any changes to its release day would probably impact other WB movies. The studio's done a good job spacing out their high-profile projects; they're not going head-to-head against themselves, and HBO Max has at least one big movie each month. For instance, June sees the premieres of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and In the Heights, while Space Jam: A New Legacy is the main draw for July. WB does have romantic drama Reminiscence slated for August, but The Suicide Squad is undoubtedly the more anticipated title of that month, so the studio would be doing themselves a disservice if they moved it up.