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The Suicide Squad: Idris Elba won't replace Will Smith as Deadshot in the next instalment

The British actor-DJ will be move on to a new character as Deadshot the character is removed from the film entirely.

The Suicide Squad: Idris Elba won't replace Will Smith as Deadshot in the next instalment

Will Smith (L) and Idris Elba at the Academy’s 7th Annual Governors Awards. (Photo:

Idris Elba, who had been in talks to take over Will Smith’s Deadshot role in Warner Bros’ The Suicide Squad – the next instalment in the franchise – will be playing a new character in the sequel to the DC movie instead, according to entertainment website Deadline.

Deadshot – the character which was played by Smith in the 2016 film –will not be a part of this next film, which Guardians of the Galaxy's James Gunn wrote and will direct.

Sources told industry magazine and website Variety that all parties including Gunn have decided to move on from the Deadshot character, with Elba now playing a new character in this new installment.

Warner Bros. had no comment on the decision.

READ: Stranger Things' David Harbour and Oscar winner Rachel Weisz to join cast of Marvel’s Black Widow


Smith had bowed out of the sequel owing to scheduling conflicts. By not having Elba take over the role, it conceivably could pave the way for Smith to return in a future instalment. Especially since his original reason for leaving had nothing to do with creative differences.

It is unknown what character Elba would now be playing, but after taking the last few weeks to discuss, everyone involved felt this was the right move, reported Variety. The team also did not want to feel as if it was disrespecting Smith, who helped bring this character to life for the first time, by replacing him with Elba.

Variety first reported in February that Smith would not be appearing in the next film and Warner Bros. and Gunn moved instantly to add Elba to the team after the director and actor sat down days after Smith’s departure. The meeting went so well that Elba agreed on the spot to join the next installment, but even at that time it was not set in stone whether he’d be playing Deadshot or a brand new member of the team.

READ: First look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in upcoming film

For now, it looks like characters expected to return are Harley Quinn with Margot Robbie reprising that role, Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang and Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. Gunn is in the process of casting the remaining team members with production expected to start in the fall.

The film is reportedly looking to start production in Atlanta this September, and the studio has set Aug 6, 2021 as the release date.

The original Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer and starring Smith alongside Jared Leto’s Joker, became a massive box office sensation when it hit cinemas in 2016, grossing US$746 million (over S$1 billion) worldwide.

Source: CNA/gl