The latest geek movies news covers The Suicide Squad, The Batman, Alita: Battle Angel, and Dune.

Former Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is in talks to direct the Suicide Squad sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The move by Warner Bros. isn’t entirely unexpected because Gunn has been writing the film (see “James Gunn Joins 'Suicide Squad’”), and he’s had some free time since Disney fired him from directing the third installment in the Guardians franchise (see “Disney Fires James Gunn”).  The film will reportedly be a relaunch rather than a direct sequel, with Gunn taking it in a different direction with different characters and actors.

The new Suicide Squad film has settled on a release date.  Presently called The Suicide Squad, the film will hit the big screen on August 6, 2021, reports THR.  The first film came to theaters in 2016, and breakout Margot Robbie is working on several projects involving Harley Quinn (see “Even More Harley Quinn”), including a Birds of Prey flick (see “'Birds of Prey' Photo, Video Released”).

While we’re on DC films, The Batman will return to theaters on June 25, 2021, but it will be sans Ben Affleck, according to Deadline.  Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) is directing the latest cinematic outing for the Caped Crusader (see “Affleck Off 'Batman'”), which will reportedly focus on a younger iteration of Bruce Wayne (but not the one from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One).  The title role has not been cast.

Fox is being sued over the name of the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel film. Florida-based Epic Stone Group is claiming that the 20th Century Fox film infringes on their trademark for the “Battle Angel” name reports THR.  Epic’s 2009 trademark includes computer games, action figures, and other toys, and a 2018 application added DVDs, ebooks, downloadable film and TV programs featuring space combat, ring tones, and graphics.  Epic is asking for damages and Fox’s profits on the film, as well as demanding that Fox stop promoting anything that bears the “Battle Angel” mark.  The film, which opens on Valentine’s Day (see “Alita Battles Robot Assassins in New Clip”) and is supported by a variety of merchandise (see “Wide Array of 'Alita: Battle Angel' Merch Debuts”), is based on Yukito Kishiro’s ‘90s-era manga.

Denis Villeneuve’s take on Dune may have found Paul Atreides’ love interest. Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is in early talks to play the role of Fremen Chani in the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel reports Collider.  If cast, she will play opposite Oscar nominee Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides (see “'Dune' Casting”).

Speaking of Dune casting, Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, Annihilation) is in negotiations to play Paul Atreides’ father, Duke Leto Atreides, the doomed leader of Arrakis, according to Variety.  He would join previously cast Charlotte Rampling, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, and Dave Bautista (see “'Dune' Casting”).