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When Common was announced as being a part of the cast of David Ayer's Suicide Squad a couple months ago, a rumor began swirling around identifying him as playing the famed Aquaman villain known as Black Manta. Now that the character has been spotted on the set of the blockbuster, however, it appears as though those reports were false, and that he will actually be playing a completely different villain: Abel Tarrant a.k.a. The Tattooed Man.
Set photos from Suicide Squad popped up over at Just Jared, showing off Common's ink-covered look for the new movie. There hasn't been any official confirmation that he is indeed playing The Tattooed Man, though there are definitely big clues to suggest that the most recent speculation is correct. Part of it is the fact that the character from the comics has been associated with the titular team in the past, and the other part of it is that Common was spotted with a tattoo of a big snake on his head - which is Tarrant's most notable piece of body art:
First introduced in Green Lantern comics, Abel Tarrant was a burglar in the fictional Coast City, and during one particular job became exposed to some mysterious chemicals. This material allowed him to both mentally control the substance and form real objects with it. After the robbery, the winds up using the chemicals to scrawl tattoos on himself of various useful forms, which he then could conjure at will. When we meet him in Suicide Squad, he will already have his powers, and may be serving time in prison - possibly serving with the squad as a means to reduce his sentence.
DC Comics fans will be quick to note that this isn't the first time that Common has done some work with the company. The rapper/actor was actually originally cast to play the John Stewart version of Green Lantern in George Miller's Justice League: Mortal - though that project wound up falling apart. Given that the DC Cinematic Universe is still in need of an Emerald Knight, it's a shame that he wasn't considered - but it's still cool that he's getting in on the comic book action.
Suicide Squad is now in production up in Toronto, and Common is part of a large cast that also includes Jared Leto (The Joker) Adam Beach (Slipknot), Jai Courtney (Boomerang), Karen Fukuhara (Katana), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Will Smith (Deadshot), Adawale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc), Jay Hernandez (El Diablo), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller) and Scott Eastwood. Look for it in theaters on