Idris Elba in talks to star as Deadshot in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad


Idris Elba could replace Will Smith as Deadshot in the next Suicide Squad film.

Warner Bros. is in the process of reconfiguring the DC big screen universe with an exciting (and eclectic) array of projects. One of those films is James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. A sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, the upcoming adaptation is expected to shake up the Task Force X universe by focusing on a new batch of evil-doers. Still, fans of the first film’s lineup can rest easy, because original team members Harley Quinn and Deadshot are expected to return.

It was initially believed that Will Smith would return to portray Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, in The Suicide Squad. However, fans’ hopes to see him back in the red-and-black tactical suit were squashed earlier this year when it was revealed that Smith had to drop out of the role due to scheduling conflicts. The announcement sparked a wave of speculation among the DC fandom, as people wondered who would be brought in to replace the actor.

If you counted yourself among those curious to see who would take on the role, you’re in luck, because WB and DC have a candidate. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Idris Elba is in talks to bring Deadshot to life in The Suicide Squad. The actor, who was reportedly Gunn and WB’s only choice for the role, is said to have entered negotiations with Warner Bros. to portray Deadshot after meeting the director.

It’s important to remember that Elba’s casting isn’t a done deal. Having said that, seeing how well his meeting with Gunn is said to have gone, we should probably expect him to sign the dotted line at some point in the near future.

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As most comic book diehards will probably remember, The Suicide Squad won’t be Elba’s first foray into the world of big screen superheroes. The actor portrayed the all-seeing Heimdall in Thor, Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. Funnily enough, Elba expressed interest in playing a more prominent superhero in the MCU during a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly:

"“I like that I have a little part in Thor. I’m neither movie star or day player. It allows me to do other things I love. [‘Thor: Ragnarok’] was fun […] I wish I was more present in the Marvel family. I like what I have, but I also wish that I had a bigger character in the Marvel universe […] It’s been great, but I kinda think I need a bit more. I want to be a superhero. I like the idea of that.”"

While that didn’t end up materializing in the MCU, it’s exciting to know he could get the opportunity to tackle a pivotal character in the DC world (should he decide to sign on for The Suicide Squad). Elba is a powerful on-screen presence. He imbues his characters with a great level of charm and charisma, while also making them tough and at times intimidating individuals. That combination makes him a perfect choice for Floyd Lawton.

Interestingly, while THR reiterated Warner Bros.’ interest in having Harley Quinn and Deadshot return for The Suicide Squad, the same couldn’t be said for stoic Task Force X leader Rick Flagg coming back for the sequel. As the outlet states, some sources say he’s expected to return, while others say he’s no longer a part of the story.

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With the film already in the process of assembling its cast, it shouldn’t be too long until we know who’ll be part of the film. The Suicide Squad will make its way to theaters on August 6, 2021.