Idris Elba is in talks to replace Will Smith in the upcoming ‘The Suicide Squad’ movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Warner Bros. film is being helmed by James Gunn, the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director who exited Marvel following the resurfacing of old pedophilic jokes. Elba, who played Heimdall in the Thor movies as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will be stepping up to play the character of Deadshot. The character was first introduced to us as an anti-hero and assassin with unnatural aiming precision, portrayed by Smith in the 2016 ‘Suicide Squad’ movie, directed by David Ayer, that was critically panned.
Although Smith might be done with the DC franchise having announced his exit last week, he will next be seen appearing in Disney’s ‘Aladdin‘. As far as a successor to the role is concerned, reports suggest that the initial meeting between Elba and Gunn went well and the studios are earnestly considering him as a replacement. Elba, who will next be seen in ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’, met with Gunn on Friday and the meeting apparently went extremely well. Elba has now positioned himself as the first and only choice for both Gunn as well as the studio.
After Smith’s exit, Warner Bros. was seriously considering the option of replacing the character of Deadshot entirely, instead of recasting the role. Justin Kroll, a writer for Variety, wrote on his Twitter account, saying, “One item I forgot to add to story, sources say execs are now deciding whether they will recast the role or replace Deadshot with a different character from the DC universe to join the team in sequel”. However, following initial talks, it looks like Deadshot is here to stay.
Margot Robbie, who played Harley Quinn, is going to reprise her role after her character appears in ‘Birds of Prey’. While Deadshot and Quinn are likely to return as core members of the Suicide Squad, other characters will be different. This decision was a creative one taken by Gunn who is inclined towards using DC characters who did not appear in the first film, allowing him to expand the DCEU universe. Comic fans must be aware that Suicide Squad has comprised of various villains at different points of time, who have all worked under Amanda Waller’s control. Speaking of which, Viola Davis is likely to reprise her role as Waller as well. While the plot for the upcoming movie remains under wraps, there is an expectation that the DCEU will be looking to maintain some sort of continuity and the events surrounding the Suicide Squad will pick up after the events of ‘Birds of Prey’.
The very quick news of Deadshot’s character being recast shows how eager Warner Bros. is in getting the production process of the film started. ‘The Suicide Squad’ has already got a script that the studio is buzzed about, and Gunn has churned out several drafts of the story already. Naturally, they are all eager to quickly move into the casting stage, so as to have a set roster of actors before going ahead with the project. Notably, before Gunn took up the reigns of the project, the project seemed to be ambling around for a couple of years, having gone through several changes as far as writers and directors are concerned. ‘The Suicide Squad’ is scheduled to hit theaters on August 6, 2021.