Last night, El Mayimbe of Latino Review broke the news that Viola Davis was in final negotiations to portray Amanda Waller in Warner Brothers’ upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Back when the cast was first announced a few weeks ago, it was reported that the studio was interested in Davis for the role of Amanda Waller — who could play a key Nick Fury-like role in the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe — but reports also had Oprah Winfrey and Octavia Spencer circling the role as well.
Of those three choices, Davis was always my favorite for the part, as evidenced by this tweet from December 2:
— The Nerds of Color (@TheNerdsofColor) December 3, 2014
Last year, when Cynthia Addai-Robinson was first cast on Arrow, we looked at the multimedia history of the Wall in DC Comics. We also lamented the fact that The CW superhero show was reflecting the New 52 version of the character — which, if you didn’t know, made Waller more slimmed-down, sexed-up, and lighter-complexioned than any previous interpretation.
The fact that Warner Brothers had those three actresses on their Amanda Waller shortlist gives me hope that the movie version will be more reflective of how the character has been traditionally represented, even if Oprah, Octavia, and Viola aren’t spitting images of their comic counterpart.
Sure, Viola Davis is not a woman of size or as large as the character has been portrayed in comics or animation, but she’s also not waifish either (sorry, CW viewers). I’m confident that she’ll lend the gravitas necessary for the role. And while I know a lot of folks wanted CCH Pounder for the part, it’s a lot like how Batfans prefer Kevin Conroy over any other Bat actor. It makes sense, but I’m cool with separate actors for live action and voice over roles.
Either way, I’ll be intrigued to see what Davis will bring to the role. Like I said in my tweet, if she can channel some of the shades of grey that exists in her How to Get Away with Murder character, the Suicide Squad will be all the better for it. This might be the first time where the movie side of the DC Universe might be preferable to the CW side.