Entertainment Movies Joel Kinnaman Admits First 'Suicide Squad' Wasn't the 'Movie That We Hoped We Were Going to Make' Actor Joel Kinnaman also praised The Suicide Squad in his interview with Variety, calling the upcoming installment "by far James Gunn's best movie" By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE since 2016. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 3, 2021 01:46 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Joel Kinnaman (R) in Suicide Squad (2016). Photo: Warner Bros. / Everett Joel Kinnaman is excited about his next step in The Suicide Squad, but he admits the original movie didn't quite live up to his expectations. The actor — who played Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad and reprises his role as the military leader in the upcoming new installment — said in a recent interview with Variety that while he "thought the first 40 minutes of the [first] film," released in 2016, were "f---ing great," the rest was a bit of a mix. "There were conflicting visions and it just didn't end up being what we all hoped it was. It didn't feel like the movie that we hoped we were going to make," said Kinnaman, 41, adding of The Suicide Squad, "and this is something very different." Directed by James Gunn and costarring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Pete Davidson, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Daniela Melchior and Peter Capaldi, The Suicide Squad follows the supervillains imprisoned at Belle Reve, as they're sent by the government to the South American island of Corto Maltese on a search-and-destroy mission. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Suicide Squad (2016). Warner Bros. / Everett Joel Kinnaman. Manny Carabel/Getty The Suicide Squad: See Idris Elba as Bloodsport in Director James Gunn's Supervillain Sequel Kinnaman said in his interview with Variety that the new movie is "a different universe" — one that is "a very hilarious and depraved place." "It just takes it to another level. It's an insane film," he said. "At the same time, it was very much the movie that I thought it was going to be because the vision was so clear from the beginning. While we were shooting it, it was so clear what we were doing." The actor praised The Suicide Squad for its "drive," "comedic timing" and flow, adding, "And I felt like it really transcended the genre, and it became something bigger." "It's by far James Gunn's best movie," Kinnaman added of the director, 54. RELATED VIDEO: Suicide Squad Director Comments on Reshoot Rumors In a behind-the-scenes look at the film, posted in August, Gunn shared that The Suicide Squad will "be different from any superhero movie ever made." (The original film was directed by David Ayer.) "I was excited [for] an opportunity to be able to do The Suicide Squad in the way it could be done from my point of view," he added at the time. Producer Peter Safran gave his take on the new movie, as well. "This one is completely unique," he said. "This is a gritty 1970s war movie combined with the grittiness of James Gunn's characters and comedy." Safran, 55, previously said the film, which is also written by Gunn, "is a total reboot" and not a sequel: "It's everything you would hope from a James Gunn script, and I think that says a lot and that promises a lot and I know that we will deliver a lot." The Suicide Squad premieres Aug. 6 in theaters and on HBO Max.