Suicide Squad 2 was put on the fast track recently by Warner Bros., but that track may not be as fast as we previously expected. Most of the principal cast from the first movie, including Will Smith, are expected to return for the sequel, but that actually may be holding things up. Because of Will Smith's busy schedule, that may be putting a delay on the production of Suicide Squad 2.
According to Variety reporter Justin Kroll, the earliest Suicide Squad 2 could go into production is fall of 2018. He is careful to note that is the earliest Warner Bros. could get production going, so it could be even later than that. Here's what Justin Kroll had to say about it on Twitter.
"So hearing at the earliest, Suicide Squad 2 won't go in to production until fall 2018 because of Smith's schedule with Aladdin and Gemini"
Guy Ritchie is gearing up to shoot his live-action version of Aladdin for Disney, which is going to be a massive production. Will Smith has been cast to play the Genie, which will take up quite a bit of his time. As Justin Kroll mentions, he is also attached to a movie called Gemini. If both of those are going to shoot before he can get to work on Suicide Squad 2, it is easy to see why the movie won't be able to shoot until at least fall of next year. If that is true, that means we likely won't see the sequel hit theaters until late 2019 or early 2020.
Considering that Will Smith's Deadshot and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn were two of the most praised elements of Suicide Squad, there is no way Warner Bros. would try to do this movie without Smith. As of right now, the studio is still trying to find a director for the project. David Ayer is not going to return, but he is still said to be attached to Gotham City Sirens. Early on, Mel Gibson was rumored to be the studio's top choice, but that didn't come to pass. The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra was also in line for the job, but he decided to take on Disney's The Jungle Cruise instead.
Despite the critical lashing that Suicide Squad had to endure, the movie was a tremendous financial success, bringing in $745.6 million at the worldwide box office. That being the case, it is no wonder that Warner Bros. has made Suicide Squad 2 a priority. It doesn't matter what their priorities are, because they are going to have to wait for Will Smith on this one. In the meantime, they can turn some attention toward the recently announced Joker origin movie that won't be part of the DCEU, or the Joker and Harley Quinn movie that will. There are plenty of projects on the DC backburner that need work.