For Warner Bros' The Suicide Squad sequel, Idris Elba is in talks to replace Will Smith as Floyd Lawton aka. Deadshot in James Gunn's followup. The first film hit theaters in 2016, as directed by David Ayer, and introduced a whole host of villains-turned-antiheroes to the Worlds of DC franchise as established by Zack Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Although Suicide Squad was a box office success, it received mixed-to-poor reviews and the general sentiment around it was largely negative.
Still, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was a particular standout of Suicide Squad, winning over fans so much that she's become instrumental to the studio's DC plans going forward. However, as Warner Bros. continues to build out its Worlds of DC franchise, they're focusing more on each individual movie than maintaining a connected universe. As such, when Gunn was hired to write Suicide Squad 2 it was reported he was crafting "a whole new take" allowing for differences to the first film. With the Suicide Squad sequel moving forward and gearing up to start production ahead of a 2021 release date, some differences are becoming apparent. Last week, Smith exited Suicide Squad 2 due to scheduling conflicts and now his replacement has been found.
According to THR, Idris Elba is in talks to replace Smith as Floyd Lawton, also known as the villain Deadshot from DC Comics. Per Variety, though, it appears the deal for Elba to play Deadshot is farther along than simple talks. According to THR, Elba met with Gunn on Friday and he's the director and studio's "first and only choice" for Deadshot. Though talks could break down at some point, both these reports indicate Elba will most likely be replacing Smith in the role of Deadshot for Gunn's Suicide Squad sequel.
Although the exact roster of The Suicide Squad is unclear, Harley Quinn is expected to appear, and with this casting news, we know Deadshot will as well. The first film also featured Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Katana (Karen Fukuhara) with the Joker (Jared Leto) and Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) as antagonists. It's unclear which, if any, of these characters will return, but it's possible that Gunn may choose to go with different antiheroes - or recast some characters that appeared in Ayer's 2016 movie.
While those who enjoyed Smith's performance as Lawton in the first film are no doubt disappointed the actor won't be returning, Elba is a good choice to take on the role of Deadshot. He made a name for himself on dramatic TV series The Wire and Luther, but has showcased a slightly lighter side on The Office as well. Further, he has superhero movie experience, having played Heimdall in the MCU, and getting a much meatier role in Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok. Now he'll move on to another comic book universe as he joins Gunn's Suicide Squad sequel. As The Suicide Squad moves along in production, fans will learn more about the team that will appear and that cast that will embody these roles.