Will Smith has officially exited The Suicide Squad, a reboot of the franchise to be written and directed by James Gunn. It was expected that the quasi-sequel to David Ayer's 2016 movie Suicide Squad would introduce an all-new cast of characters. But there were still a few lingering questions whether anyone from the original cast would show up. One of those questions has a definite answer now.
When it was announced that James Gunn was in talks to direct, the report indicated that none of the original cast would be back. That same report later clarified that Margot Robbie will return as Harley Quinn, though Warner Bros. and DC Films have not made an official announcement at this time. For now, Will Smith is definitely out as Deadshot, but Robbie could be back as Harley Quinn. She is reprising the role in Birds of Prey, which is shooting now.
The Suicide Squad has already been handed a solid summer release date, and will hit theaters August 6, 2021. Aside from Margot Robbie, who may or may not actually show up to play, absolutely no one else from the cast has been announced. It's highly unlikely that Jared Leto will reprise his role as Joker. That said, it's extremely doubtful that Joaquin Phoenix would reprise the role in this ensemble either, after having portrayed the clown prince of crime in a standalone thriller. That movie, simply titled Joker for now, is directed by Todd Phillips and is said to take place outside the existing DCEU.
It sounds like Will Smith was willing to come back and reprise his role as Deadshot for The Suicide Squad. But his alleged decision to drop out came from scheduling issues. That was the ultimate factor, with Smith and Warner Bros. reportedly parting ways on 'amicable terms'. It is said that there are no 'hard feelings'. Though Warner Bros. and DC Films haven't commented on this latest development in any public way.
Word is that Warner Bros. and DC Films always wanted and intended to have the biggest stars from its 2016 Suicide Squad movie return. And that the rest of the casting decisions would be decided along the way. A rep for Will Smith could not be reached for comment.
Warner Bros. is fully committed to bringing back the Squad. David Ayer's first movie was torn apart by critics, but it was a financial success at the box office bringing in $746 million. James Gunn was originally brought in to write the script after he was fired by Disney and Marvel for Twitter jokes about pedophilia, 9/11, rape and a variety of other taboo subjects. He was later asked to direct the movie as well.
While doing press for Captain Marvel, Marvel big boss Kevin Feige confirmed that James Gunn's script will still be used for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and the movie will still have his finger prints all over it. The Suicide Squad will hold the director's signature style, and has already been compared to what Gunn has done in the Marvel universe with the Guardians. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax the Destroyer in those movies has expressed interest in working with Gunn on The Suicide Squad, and we could see some of his other regulars like Sean Gunn and Michael Rooker. For now, it looks like Harley Quinn will be in the movie. Though Robbie and Smith have a good working relationship that spans a couple of movies now, and with him out, she could possibly bail as well. Consider this a developing story. Will Smith's exit was originally announced on Variety.