Idris Elba Will Replace Will Smith As Deadshot In Suicide Squad 2

Will Smith and Idris Elba

When it was reported last week that Will Smith was not going to be available for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad due to scheduling issues, it didn't seem like that big of a deal. After all, previous word about the project suggested that the new movie was going in a different direction than the first, and there was an assumption that the blockbuster could simply use another character instead of Deadshot and save Will Smith's second DC Extended Universe appearance for an alternate project. It turns out, however, that isn't going to be the plan going forward, as the latest news says that Idris Elba will be taking on the role of Floyd Lawton in the 2021 feature.

According to THR, Idris Elba has entered talks to take over as the DCEU’s new Deadshot. Elba reportedly met with James Gunn last Friday and that encounter went so “swimmingly” that conversations with Warner Bros began “in earnest.” While a deal hasn’t been finalized just yet, the studio is apparently quite keen on having Elba come aboard The Suicide Squad, with him being “the first and only choice.” So unless there’s a massive shakeup in the eleventh hour, the odds are looking good that Elba will fill the assassin’s shoes.

Of course, this won’t be Idris Elba’s first time lending his talents to the comic book genre. Along with appearing as Moreau in 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, he played Heimdall, the all-seeing sentry of Asgard, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Heimdall was killed at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, and unlike the character’s who were turned to dust by Thanos at the end of that movie, there hasn’t been an expectation that the Asgardian warrior will be resurrected during Avengers: Endgame. So with his work in the MCU apparently done, Elba is free to move to the DCEU and take over as Deadshot, one of the Suicide Squad’s most frequent members in the comics.

Initially best known for his TV work like The Wire and Luther, Idris Elba has become a movie star in the last decade with projects like Pacific Rim, The Jungle Book and Star Trek Beyond, to name a few. Later this year, he’ll be pitted against Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in Hobbs and Shaw. and he’s also attached to play Macavity in Cats.

Along with Deadshot, Harley Quinn is expected to return for The Suicide Squad, with Margot Robbie reprising the role. There are conflicting reports about whether or not Rick Flagg, the government operative assigned by Amanda Waller to keep Task Force X under control in the field who was played by Joel Kinnaman in Suicide Squad, will be back as well. For the most part, though, since The Suicide Squad is being envisioned more as a relaunch than a direct sequel, most of the cast will be comprised of brand-new faces.

The Suicide Squad is set for release on August 6, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. Don’t forget to look through our DC movies guide to learn what else is in development for the DCEU.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.