News broke late last week that Will Smith would no longer be serving as the character Deadshot within the DCEU. But it apparently hasn’t taken long for the sequel’s director, James Gunn, to find a replacement. Reports are that Idris Elba is now joining the Suicide Squad 2 cast as Deadshot, replacing Smith.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news yesterday evening that Gunn recently met with Elba to discuss the role. Things reportedly went so well during their meet last week that talks have already escalated to the studio level, with discussions now ongoing between Warner Bros. and Elba’s representation.
Will Smith was essentially the lead of David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad. However, it was Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn that stole the show. The movie did incredibly well in the box office, raking in roughly $746.8 million on a budget of $175 million for Warner Bros.
Critically though, it didn’t fare nearly as well. Rotten Tomatoes lists an approval rating of 27% with Metacritic placing it at a review average of 40. Which is likely one of the reasons why Warner Bros. hasn’t been overly aggressive in getting a sequel out to theaters. But now that James Gunn is on board to write and direct, things have changed.
The Hollywood Reporter states that Warner Bros. is “extremely high” on the script that Gunn submitted. Thus explaining their enthusiasm in getting production going as soon as possible. Adding a name like Idris Elba to the Suicide Squad 2 cast only furthers that narrative.
The Suicide Squad 2 cast will see the return of Robbie in the now iconic role of Harley Quinn. But other than she and Elba, the remainder of the roster is up in the air. There have been mixed reports as to whether the team’s leader, Rick Flagg, would be back. And if the character did return, it’s unclear if Joel Kinnaman would be reprising the role.
Things should begin falling into place quickly as Warner Bros. makes the project more of a priority. James Gunns’ Suicide Squad 2 is currently listed with a release date of August 6, 2021.