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Last week, it was announced that Tom Hardy had dropped out of the upcoming DC movie Suicide Squad. Hardy was set to play team leader Rick Flag, but due to other commitments, he had to forgo appearing in the 2016 blockbuster. It was then reported that Warner Bros. was looking at Nightcrawler star Jake Gyllenhaal, who worked with Suicide Squad director David Ayer on End of Watch, to fill the vacant position. Unfortunately for them, it appears that they will have to keep their search going, as Gyllenhaal won’t be joining the DC Cinematic Universe anytime soon.
Variety is reporting that Gyllenhaal has passed on the offer to play Flag, though they didn’t provide a reason why. Suicide Squad will begin production in April, so there is still time to secure a replacement. Although the reason for Hardy’s departure was officially attributed to scheduling issues shooting The Revenant and his upcoming promotion for Mad Max: Fury Road, it was rumored that the real reason he left was because he didn’t like the script, specifically that his screen time was reduced in favor of putting other characters at center stage.
It would be one thing if he turned down the role due to a busy schedule, but right now Gyllenhaal doesn’t have any projects scheduled for 2016, although his 2015 film slate is heavy with films Accidental Love, Everest, Southpaw and Demolition. Like Hardy, he may not have cared for the script, or perhaps he’s currently gunning for another project that Suicide Squad would prevent him from joining. Regardless, whoever ends up playing Flag will be in the unique position of playing one of the few "good guys" in a movie that primarily consists of criminals as the main characters. As he was in the comics, Rick Flag will be the government agent assigned to lead the team of incarcerated supervillains, specifically by keeping them in line during their missions. Although he is a man who will do whatever is necessary to serve his country, he also has his own personal demons that he struggles with.
Given Hardy and Gyllenhaal’s star power, it’s likely that Warner Bros. will continue to look for a big name actor to join the film rather than seek out not as well known. So far the cast consists of Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jared Leto as The Joker, Carla Delevigne as Enchantress and potentially Viola Davis and Jesse Eisenberg as Amanda Waller and Lex Luthor respectively. Suicide Squad will be released in theaters on August 5, 2016.