The Suicide Squad will no longer feature Deadshot, although Idris Elba remains a part of the cast.
It was originally reported that Elba had jumped in to replace Will Smith in the role of DC’s deadliest marksman, after the actor dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
However, Variety now states that director James Gunn has made the decision to move on from the Deadshot character, with Elba now pitched to play a completely new character.
Not only did the filmmakers believe this would avoid disrespecting Smith, who played the character in the 2016 film, but that it would also leave the door open for him to make a return in the future.
Three characters from the first film are expected to make a return: Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, and Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller.
Gunn is still casting the rest of the team, with production expected to commence in fall. The film is scheduled to debut on 6 August 2021.