'Suicide Squad 2': 'The Shallows' Helmer Frontrunner to Direct

Jaume Collet-Serra - 2016 Shallows Premiere - Getty - H 2017
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The studio is eyeing a mid-2018 start with filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra.

Jaume Collet-Serra, who directed the shark thriller The Shallows, has emerged as the frontrunner to helm Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad 2.

The studio is eyeing a mid-2018 start for the sequel to its 2016 action movie that grossed $745.6 million worldwide.

Warners initially circled Mel Gibson to direct the project, but script delays pushed the production start and Gibson moved on. Sources say the studio recently received a new treatment written by Zak Penn (Avengers, Ready Player One) and that a new script will now be written.

David Ayer directed the initial outing, which featured an all-star cast that included Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto

Collet-Serra is known for his frequent collaborations with Liam Neeson in the action-movie sphere: Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night and the upcoming The Commuter. He has been near the top of the studio’s wish list since March.

One factor that may complicate a deal is Collet-Serra boarding Waco, a TV drama from Annapurna