Thank God, James Gunn Is Finally Going To Give Idris Elba Enough To Do In A Superhero Movie

Heimdall in Thor: The Dark World

It's no secret that superhero movies are everywhere, as multiple studios compete for box office supremacy and fan adoration. As such, there's been quite a few actors who have appeared in multiple shared universes, including Josh Brolin, Peter Dinklage, Zachary Levi, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Now that's been expanded to Thor actor Idris Elba, who is replacing Will Smith as Deadshot in The Suicide Squad.

DC fans are eager to see what James Gunn will bring to the titular team of villains, especially after the first Suicide Squad movie left something to be desired critically. Gunn will reportedly making changes to the lineup of the Squad, and he's already recast one major character. Idris Elba will be taking on the role of Deadshot from Will Smith, which should fans of both comic book movies and Elba very happy. After all, he was never really given enough to do in the Thor franchise.

Idris Elba played Asgardian Heimdall during the Thor trilogy, but the Golden Globe winning actor never got much of a chance to shine. Like other Thor supporting characters like the Warrior's Three, Heimdall functioned mostly in the background of the franchise. Elba did get a quick scene in Avengers: Infinity War, before Heimdall was killed by Thanos. So his role as Deadshot in The Suicide Squad will be a game changer for the British actor within the superhero genre. And I'm into it.

Meanwhile, Will Smith's Deadshot was one of the stars of David Ayer's Suicide Squad, with he and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn carrying the heart and soul of the ensemble project. His hatred toward Batman was fleshed out, and he had relatable motivations as a father. As such, Idris Elba is poised to have a significant role in James Gunn's follow-up. And it's about time. Elba's star power has grown quite a bit since he was cast as Heimdall in Thor, with the 46 year-old actor at the top of fan lists to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, and even earning the title of Sexiest Man Alive. Now that his character has officially bitten the dust in Infinity War, he should be free play the sharp shooting Deadshot.

In fact, that's exactly what his Thor co-star Zachary Levi did after being (unceremoniously) killed off in Ragnarok. He was able to land the title role in Shazam!, and Idris Elba is following suit. Elba has been leading movies for years now, so he's more than ready to shine in an ensemble project like The Suicide Squad. And if he does well enough, a spinoff doesn't seem out of question. Just look at the upcoming Aquaman spinoff The Trench. And this time, he'll play a more insidious character than Heimdall. Deadshot loves killing, and he's good at it. Luckily, Ellba is already flexing his villain muscles in Hobbs & Shaw.

Deadshot on the phone

Attempting to recast Will Smith is no easy task, as he's a megastar that has huge following and a long career as a leading man. Idris Elba's career trajectory has been on a serious roll, and he's a solid choice to take on the mantle of Deadshot. Add in his experience in the genre, and James Gunn's vision crafting the narrative, and you've got a superhero duo that fans can get behind. Audiences are eager to see how Gunn will rework the burgeoning franchise, and bring his unique perspective to Marvel's competitor. And Gunn knows how good of an actor he has in Idris Elba.

Idris Elba had a whopping five appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Heimdall still failed to become a truly complex character. Heimdall served as the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge, which allows instant travel between the Nine Realms. While sworn to obey the orders of Anthony Hopkins' Odin, Heimdall was shown to rebel for the greater good during all three of his Thor roles. But he mostly operated on his own plane, serving as a tertiary presence, despite the character's outstanding abilities and having the great Idris Elba underneath his helmet.

Heimdall also popped up briefly in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Scarlet Witch gave the Avengers visions of their past, and future(s). Heimdall teased the end of Asgard, which eventually came to fruition during the events of Ragnarok. He was also shown in the opening sequence of Avengers: Infinity War, and succeeded in teleporting Hulk back to Earth before being murdered by Thanos himself. Heimdall and Loki's murders were the primary motivation for Thor to get ahold of Stormbreaker and kill the Mad Titan in revenge.

But Idris Elba won't be kept in the sidelines for The Suicide Squad, as Deadshot will likely be one of the main protagonists of James Gunn's highly anticipated DC blockbuster. Deadshot's plot in David Ayer's first movie was mostly focused his anger and hatred toward Ben Affleck's Batman, after he was arrested in front of his daughter's eyes by the Dark Knight.

Now that Ben Affleck has hung up the cowl and cape for good, it should be fascinating to see how that dynamic is handled with The Suicide Squad. Will Batman be killed off in the shared universe? That would certainly be an interesting way to continue Deadshot's story, especially if the villain wasn't the one to end The Bat once and for all. The possibilities are truly endless, as cast shakeups put a ton of balls in the air for James Gunn to navigate during his blockbuster.

As a whole, Warner Bros. has been making a ton of strides on the DC live-action universe, with a handful of exciting projects coming down the pipeline. The universe is also still riding the wave of Aquaman's massive success, with a spinoff and sequel currently in the works. And while diving deeper into Arthur Curry's world, The Suicide Squad joins a group of upcoming blockbusters on the surface, including Birds of Prey, Joker, The Batman, and Wonder Woman 1984.

Are you excited about Idris Elba playing Deadshot in The Suicide Squad? Let us know in our poll below. James Gunn's DC debut is currently set to arrive in theaters on August 6th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.