Following the recent news that Will Smith had dropped out of Suicide Squad 2, Variety reports that Idris Elba (Luther, The Office) has joined the film to play Smith’s character, Deadshot. As reported previously, Smith had to exit Suicide Squad 2 due in part to scheduling issues. However, he was never officially confirmed for the film in the first place.
According to Variety, Suicide Squad studio Warner Bros. “moved fast” to find a “proven A-lister” to replace Smith, and Elba eventually got the call. It’s not clear what other actors might have been considered. Elba was previously featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having played Heimdall in the Thor movies and Avengers: Infinity War.
No official casting announcements at all about Suicide Squad 2 have come down yet, so there is no word on who else might come back–or not–for the follow-up. However, Variety reports that Margot Robbie is expected to return to play Harley Quinn again. Jared Leto played The Joker in the 2016 Suicide Squad, but his involvement in the new film remains unclear.
According to Variety writer Justin Kroll, Warner Bros. also considered replacing Deadshot in Suicide Squad 2 instead of recasting him.
While many of the specifics are unclear at this point, Warner Bros. has given Suicide Squad a release date: August 6, 2021. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is reportedly writing and directing the movie, following David Ayer who directed the first one. Gunn was famously fired from his role on Guardians 3 by Disney despite calls from the cast to retain him.
The 2016 Suicide Squad received mixed reviews, but it was a massive commercial success. It made more than $746 million worldwide, and it won an Oscar for Makeup and Hairstyling.