When word broke late last month that Will Smith had dropped out of The Suicide Squad, the quick assumption was that Deadshot would also exit the upcoming sequel. Instead, it looks as though someone else will shoulder the character’s rifle, as Idris Elba is now in line to replace the departing Smith.
According to Variety, Smith exited stage left due to scheduling conflicts. With the James Gunn production set to begin filming this Fall, Warner Bros. was determined to snap up an A-list replacement ASAP. It seems as though they’ve found their man in Elba, a beloved star who is no stranger to the world of action franchises, as he’ll next appear as the villain in the Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw.
It’s not yet known who else will be joining Elba in the follow-up to 2016 critical failure but box office hit that was Suicide Squad. It seems likely Jared Leto’s days as the Joker are already over, though it’s expected that Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn once she’s done with her own spin-off Birds of Prey.
The Suicide Squad is currently set for an August 6th, 2021 release date. Gunn will write and direct the film, which has been described as a “relaunch” as opposed to a “sequel.”