The British actor has been tapped for an unknown new character in the latest installment of the franchise, though there's no word on who he might be taking on just yet. It isn't clear whether Deadshot's removal means Will Smith could potentially return to the role in the future or not, but he previously exited the project due to scheduling conflicts.
The team reportedly felt this casting decision was "the right move," and did not want the change to feel as though it was "disrespecting" Smith in any way.
Currently, Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), and Viola Davis (Amanda Waller) are all reportedly returning to reprise the roles they had in the previous film.
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Variety reports that, following Will Smith’s amicable exit from the role in the new Suicide Squad movie, Idris Elba is now in talks to replace the Aladdin star following a meeting with director James Gunn.
Elba will join castmate Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn — and, honestly, it's one of the best casting decisions we could possibly think of for the role.
It's also an informed choice, as Elba is a frontman with the acting chops and personality to bring the sympathetic villain to life. Smith played the doting father and expert marksman with plenty of heart, and as we’ve seen with Elba's other roles, he can definitely bring that same kind of energy to the screen.
The news comes about a week after Smith was noted to be leaving the role, apparently due to scheduling conflicts. It looks like Gunn and crew are looking to move quickly when it comes to getting the new Squad together and pushing the sequel to the 2016 film out the door.
The Golden Globe-winning actor (and musician) is best known for his roles as The Wire's Stringer Bell and Luther's John Luther, but you’ve probably seen him in, well, everything. Joining Suicide Squad would mark his first foray into the DC movie universe, after playing the Asgardian sentry Heimdall in each of the Thor films and two Avengers entries. He also brought us one of the coolest former Jaeger pilots ever in the action-packed kaiju-centric flick Pacific Rim.
Elba is consistently a most-wanted actor when it comes to taking over the role of James Bond, too — but he’s apparently uninterested in bringing us his version of the legendary agent as he doesn’t like to take on roles that "define" him in a new interview with the Daily Mail.
We don’t know a ton about the Suicide Squad sequel just yet, as there have been scant details released about it so far. What we do know, however, is that Elba could be joining a cast that still includes Robbie as Harley Quinn, but we haven't had confirmation that Quinn or the rest of the villains from the first movie will be coming back for a second round. Robbie, in the meantime, is starring in a spinoff flick featuring Quinn, called Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), where Harley splits from the Joker and becomes essentially a "free woman."
While Smith exhibited some serious charisma and chemistry as Deadshot, we know Elba is more than capable of bringing the villain with an apparent heart of gold to life.
Here's to hoping we get additional details about the film soon, too. It’s high time the Squad got back together.