Casting for the next installment of The Suicide Squad has taken yet another turn after it was previously announced that Will Smith would not be returning to reprise his role as Deadshot.
British hunk Idris Elba was said to be replacing Smith in the new pic set to be filmed by controversial director James Gunn, but sources now tell Variety that the Deadshot character will be dropped from the film altogether, with Elba playing a new character in The Suicide Squad reboot.
Characters already expected to return include Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang and Oscar-winner Viola Davis will also return as cunning government agent Amanda Waller.
Smith reportedly stepped away from the project because of scheduling issues and Gunn reportedly made the decision to move on from recasting the Deadshot character to avoid disrespecting the superstar actor. And by not recasting the role, it leaves the door open for Smith to make a return in the future.
Meanwhile, it is unknown what character Elba will be playing but Business Insider notes that the next movie will focus mostly on DC characters who were not in the first movie.
Smith starred in the original Suicide Squad alongside Robbie and Jared Leto. The 2016 Marvel pic was a box office smash, grossing $746 million worldwide.
“We’re getting ready to shoot in a few months’ time,” Courtney said about the film in an interview with Business Insider. “There’s not much else I can reveal about it but, yeah, you’ll be seeing Boomerang back for sure…. “I’m happy, it’s going to be fun. It will be different, for sure, but it’s going to be great.”
Gunn is currently assembling the rest of the cast and aiming to start shooting this fall for an August 2021 release date.
“I’m happy, it’s going to be fun,” Courtney added. “It will be different, for sure, but it’s going to be great.”