We are roughly one month away from Suicide Squad delivering one of the most insane comic book adaptations yet. The marketing for the movie has done a great job at introducing us to Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Jared Leto (The Joker) and Deadshot (Will Smith), but despite having the star-power behind them, they are not the only colorful characters showing up.
There are a bunch of anti-heroes that are more than capable of stealing a few scenes. We’ve gotten glimpses from the rest of the cast including some humor from Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), awesome, fiery action moments from El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), and all out creepiness from Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Heck, even the straitlaced Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) got some moments in the trailers. However, there is one unknown.
Katana has been present in the Suicide Squad marketing, but how her character will be adapted for the big screen remains a mystery. The same can be said for the woman behind the mask, Karen Fukuhara. The lone item on her IMDB page is her role of Tatsu Yamashiro, a.k.a. Katana. And even though the role is Fukuhara’s big break in Hollywood, playing Katana is more than just a job, it’s more of a personal character for her.
“As a first-generation Japanese American, I’ve always wanted to play a samurai warrior like my Suicide Squad character, Katana,” Fukuhara told Playboy. “Samurai are almost always male, so growing up in America I had a hard time figuring out role models. Katana and I may not have the same personality, but coming from the same cultural upbringing, we share core values.”
When casting a character, you want someone who can capture the essence of the role. With her background, it appears Fukuhara is ready and willing to take the Katana role and run with it. Plus, there was something else that drew her to joining the Suicide Squad roster.
“In Japanese culture there’s this idea of putting others before yourself, but I’ve also never wanted to let myself down. Someone recently told me how refreshing it is to see an Asian woman as a superhero. That stuck with me. Stand up for yourself and what you love.”
With that kind of passion behind the character, don’t be shocked if Katana is the breakout star from Suicide Squad. Tatsu Yamashiro is already a bad ass, plus we’ve seen that she does possess her samurai sword Soultaker. If you’re unfamiliar with the weapon, you’re missing out on one of the coolest weapons in comic book history. Not only can it slice down Katana’s enemies, but the soul of the victim is captured inside the blade, able to communicate with her from beyond the grave. If you didn’t know the character before you saw Suicide Squad, you will once you leave the theater.
Sure, Harley Quinn, The Joker, Deadshot, and even Batman (in a limited role), will grab the headlines, but it’s the rest of the Squad that will determine if this movie can live up to the expectations. Director David Ayer seems ready to give everyone quality screen-time, meaning Katana, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo and perhaps even Slipknot will get their time in the spotlight. If he pulls it off, Ayer will deliver the breath of fresh air the comic book genre greatly needs.