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Last night, the news broke that Will Smith, one of the main stars of 2016’s Suicide Squad, is not expected to return for the sequel due to scheduling issues. However, this doesn’t necessarily spell the end of Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, in the DC Extended Universe. Apparently re-casting the assassin is on the table for Suicide Squad 2, officially known as The Suicide Squad.
Following the initial report that Will Smith will be absent from The Suicide Squad, Variety’s Justin Kroll tweeted out that he’s heard that Warner Bros executives are now deciding whether to recast Deadshot or to just remove him from the movie altogether and replace him with a different character. It’s not as if the DCEU is a stranger to recasting. After all, a new actor is being brought aboard to play The Batman’s eponymous protagonist, although to be fair, that movie will feature a younger version of Bruce Wayne. Still, at this point, there’s no indication which way The Suicide Squad will go with Deadshot, but don’t count him out of the game just yet.
Given that Deadshot was not just one of the lead characters in Suicide Squad, but also a major figure in the Suicide Squad comics, his absence would certainly be felt in the sequel. So in order to maintain a sense of connectivity with the last cinematic adventure starring Task Force X, perhaps Warner Bros will bring in someone to be the new Floyd Lawton. Granted, Will Smith is still one of the top movie stars in the world, so whoever his replacement is wouldn’t match his level of stardom. Ideally, though, this actor would have enough room to leave his own stamp on the character without making this Deadshot significantly different from how Smith portrayed him.
That being said, from what we’ve heard so far, The Suicide Squad feels like it’s going to be a much different movie than its predecessor. Instead of David Ayer returning to write and direct, James Gunn, formerly of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has taken on those duties. Rather than being a direct sequel, The Suicide Squad is said to instead be serving as more of a relaunch of the property, with the cast mostly being comprised of new characters. If that’s the case, then it’s relatively easy to come up with an excuse for why Deadshot’s not around, whether he’s worked off his sentence, is on another mission or was even killed in the field.
Even if Deadshot doesn’t appear in The Suicide Squad, it doesn’t sound like the movie will be lacking in familiar faces. Contrary to initial claims, Margot Robbie will reportedly be back as Harley Quinn, making this her third time playing the character following Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey. I imagine Viola Davis is also a logical candidate to return since Amanda Waller is the one who put the Squad together, but given how many iterations of this team have existed on the printed page, having a mostly or all-new lineup is par for the course.
The Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters on August 6, 2021, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, look through our DC movies guide to find out what else is in development for the DCEU.