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The Suicide Squad
Photograph: Dave J Hogan

Peter Capaldi unveils a giant pink starfish in Leicester Square

The award for the maddest movie PR stunt goes to... ‘The Suicide Squad’

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen
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Leicester Square has seen more than its share of shameless publicity stunts: an inflatable UFO to plug Persil; real-life cowboys to plug ‘The Magnificent Seven’; a whole shop of M&M’s. But it has never seen an enormous starfish quite like the one currently plonked in its midst to promote ‘The Suicide Squad’.

In comic-book terms, Starro – as DC completists will tell you – is huge, psychic, extra-terrestrial starfish that can fire lasers out of its tentacles. IRL, this replica Starro is an eye-grabbing 15-metre-tall pink-and-blue critter currently vying with human beatboxers to terrify West End passersby. As a former Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi, of course, fears no starfish and he was present to plug the stunt in person.

The Suicide Squad
Photograph: Dave J Hogan

Starro was once the first villain the Justice League ever fought, back in a 1960 comic-book run. It’s now been promoted to the role of superbad (with help from Capaldi) in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad’ reboot, where it will be zapping its all-powerful fish lasers in the direction of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and the rest of the band of super-desperadoes. 

Oh, and there’s King Shark, a hungry great white voiced by Sylvester Stallone. Seriously, this film is what would happen if the cast of ‘The Blue Planet’ took peyote. And we are majorly here for it.

‘The Suicide Squad’ is out on Friday July 30 in all good cinemas (and ideally, one or two aquaria). Check back at 5pm for our verdict on the movie.

Not strange enough? London’s first ‘iceberg hotel’ is opening in Leicester Square.

Which Leicester Square cinema makes our list of the 50 best in Britain and Ireland?

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