Comic-Con: Will Smith, Margot Robbie and 'Suicide Squad' Cast Surprise Hall H

Will Smith Comic-Con - H - 2015
Associated Press
No joke: Jared Leto didn't come.

Will Smith and Margot Robbie made their first appearance at Comic-Con's Hall H during the unveiling of the first look at Suicide Squad, Warner Bros.’ action movie based on the DC villains.

The appearance of the Squad's cast - Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Adam Beach, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, among them - was one of Warners' surprises for the 6,500-plus crowd of the hall, most of whom had camped out to get in for what was one of the marquee panels of the entire convention, Warners' presentation of its DC-themed superhero movies.

Jared Leto, who is playing Batman arch nemesis the Joker, was not there.

Also present was David Ayer, who directed the feature in which Smith plays the villain Deadshot and Robbie the Joker’s on-and-off girlfriend, Harley Quinn.

"Who’s got the best bad guys out there? DC Comics," Ayer said. "I’m not trying to start no East Coast West Coast feud with Marvel Comics but someone has got to say the truth."

Ayer made it a point to pay homage to the fans: "You guys run this shit! It’s about canon, being faithful to the source material. You guys know your shit and you’re gonna get it."

What followed was a sizzle reel that quickly established the story of imprisoned supervillains recruited by a government agency to perform covert operations in exchange for some redemption.

There were shots of Robbie as Quinn in a special prison cage, Smith leading the team through burning rubble, and Leto about to inflict pain on some poor soul. The tone was dark - the tagline shown was "Justice has a bad side" - but the crowd was on the edge of their seats.

The cast was shooting in Toronto only a day earlier and was flown into San Diego Saturday morning to spend about three hours on the ground just to make an appearance that lasted under 15 minutes. By 1 PM, they were on a shuttle back to the airport.  

But not before Smith, the only one of the cast to speak on stage, pointed to Ayer and said, "This guy tells the absolute truth. He is making something you will all love."

The movie has a release date of Aug. 5, 2016, just over four months after Warners unveils Batmam v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.