It was reported last month that Idris Elba was stepping in to replace Will Smith in the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel. Smith’s reported scheduling conflict was accepted by most as a nice way of backing out of an uninteresting role from the failed first film, and Elba would take over his role of Deadshot. However, that is not the case.
Elba will reportedly play a new character. Variety reports that while it’s currently unknown who Elba will play, everyone involved didn’t want to disrespect Smith by simply replacing him. This also leaves the Deadshot character available to return somewhere down the line if they want.
This is probably better for Elba, too. Had he played Deadshot, he’d have been taking over the work of another actor, and his performance would have been constantly compared to Smith’s. Now, he gets to make whatever character he plays his own. DC has a whole host of characters to choose from, so speculating on who Elba will play would be foolish at this point.
But, as one of the best working actors, we know that he’ll own whatever role in ends up being.
Writer-Director James Gunn is reportedly in the process of casting the remaining squad members. The film plans to shoot this autumn, and will hit cinemas August 6, 2021. Elba can next be seen later this year in the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw and Cats.