Idris Elba is still going to be in The Suicide Squad, he's just not going to be playing Deadshot. James Gunn has been hired by Warner Bros. to write and direct the next entry in the franchise, which has been described as a "total reboot." That description has seemed confusing, giving that quite a few of the characters from the last movie are coming back. Just today we learned that Viola Davis will be reprising her role as Amanda Waller. But now we have word that Deadshot is going to sit on the sidelines for this one, opening up a whole host of new questions.

Just as a refresher, it was reported early last month that Idris Elba was set to replace Will Smith as Deadshot in the sequel. Smith played the role in David Ayer's 2016 movie but scheduling conflicts are going to prevent him from being able to appear in this one. It had nothing to do with creative differences and there was no bad blood between Smith and the studio. So, Elba was brought in as a replacement. However, that decision has been reconsidered for a number of reasons.

According to a new report, Idris Elba will instead play a brand new character in The Suicide Squad. James Gunn, Elba and the studio had apparently been discussing this for the past few weeks and concluded that this was the best way to proceed. This is largely out of respect for Will Smith, whose return as Deadshot in the future is doubtful, but still remains a possibility if Elba plays a different character. In any event, this does lend a little credibility to the idea of this being a soft reboot of sorts as opposed to a more direct sequel.

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As for who Idris Elba is going to play now? That remains to be seen. It was previously reported that James Gunn's new team will include the likes of Ratcatcher, Polka-Dot Man, Peacemaker and King Shark. It was also said that Gunn was possibly looking at his pal and Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista for the role of Peacemaker. It's also expected that Ratcatcher will be gender-swapped to make the character a woman. And let's be honest, he is not playing someone named Polka-Dot Man. So, Elba as King Shark? Or is that just some wishful thinking bleeding through?

In any event, James Gunn will likely have to retool his script a bit to accommodate the change in character. Beyond this new tidbit, we know that Margot Robbie is expected to reprise her role as Harley Quinn, with Jai Courtney also coming back as Captain Boomerang. Filming is expected to begin in the fall, so we should hopefully be learning some firm details before cameras start rolling. The Suicide Squad is set to arrive in theaters on August 6, 2021. This news was first reported by Vareity.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott