The DC live-action universe is in a fascinating place right now. While things looked bleak after the release of Justice League, Warner Bros. changed its plan of action, and seems to be on the upswing. With less of a focus on serialized storytelling, James Wan's Aquaman was a critical and box office success, and there's plenty of other exciting projects coming down the pipeline. One of them is James Gunn's still developing The Suicide Squad, which will make liberal changes to the titular team and cast.
James Gunn's plans for The Suicide Squad are slowly coming to light, as the story and characters are chosen for the upcoming sequel to David Ayer's original film. While rumored character lists have already started swirling around the internet, one bit of casting has been confirmed: Idris Elba will replace Will Smith as DC's Deadshot. Smith won't be participating in the blockbuster due to conflicts, and fans are eager to see what 46 year-old actor Elba will do with the villain. Now we've got an idea of what he could look like as the man who never misses. Check it out below.
Does anyone else have chills? Idris Elba looked like a hulking force as Deadshot, and this image should get any naysayers a better idea of what the recasting could look like on the silver screen. Elba's star power has been growing for years, and now seems like the perfect time to give him another comic book role in The Suicide Squad.
The above image comes to us from Boss Logic, who regularly renders potential superhero looks for rumored actors. But Idris Elba's role as Deadshot has been confirmed, so his art is especially exciting. If James Gunn keeps Deadshot's costume consistent with the one Will Smith rocked in Suicide Squad, then that might be exactly what Elba could look like in the still developing sequel. And it's awesome.
Suicide Squad adapted Deadshot's costume fairly accurately, although the Batman rogue didn't wear his signature white mask quite as much as comic book fans are accustomed do. This was obviously so director David Ayer could better feature Will Smith. Why book the A-lister if you're going to keep his face covered? As such, it seems logical that James Gunn would use a similar design for his follow up, and might once again opt to keep the character mostly unmasked. When you've got the Sexiest Man Alive, you're going to want to show that Golden Globe winning mug to the audience.
Then again, James Gunn could opt to change Deadshot's appearance in The Suicide Squad, and differentiate his version of the character from Will Smith's. The sequel will reportedly feature returning characters in Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Rick Flag, but reports also indicate that Gunn is going to be adding in some newcomers. The developments for The Suicide Squad have been fascinating, especially as the writer/director has already shown a willingness to recast if the original actors are unavailable.
Regardless, the rendering of Idris Elba as Deadshot is sure to excite both comic book enthusiasts and casual moviegoers. Elba's career has been on a serious trajectory, and he's got experience in the superhero genre as well. Before we get to see him suit up as the DC villain, he'll be the big bad Hobbs & Shaw. So while he's shut down rumors of replacing Daniel Craig as James Bond, the action genre is one that Elba clearly feelings comfortable in.
Suicide Squad's performance was fascinating, as it had both highs and lows once arriving in theaters. While David Ayer's blockbuster made a good bit of money at the box office, it was a critical failure that failed to really resonate with audiences. But that didn't stop the blockbuster from picking up an Oscar along the way, and starting a franchise and spinoff in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
Will Smith's Deadshot was one of the strongest aspects of Suicide Squad, as he and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn helped to carry the somewhat disjointed blockbuster. Deadshot's fixation and hatred of Batman was fleshed out, as was his undying love for his daughter. The character was arguably the most nuanced member of the Squad, as Smith balanced a love for killing and villainy with a family focused story. Idris Elba has some big shoes to fill, but the actor luckily got the following and star power to hopefully set him up for success.
Idris Elba has had his own long tenure in the superhero genre, thanks to his role as Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Elba played the powerful Asgardian in all three Thor movies, in addition to making brief appearances in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Infinity War.
Unfortunately, Idris Elba was never given quite enough material to showcase his talents during the Thor trilogy. This is a symptom of the franchise, which has put most of its focus on the title character and Loki. Shazam! star Zachary Levi has previously expressed his dissatisfaction with playing Fandral in the last two Thor movies, because the Warrior's Three never got to be properly fleshed out. The same can arguably be said for Heimdall, who mostly served as a tertiary presence as the keeper of the Bifrost.
Heimdall was tragically killed off during the opening moments of Avengers: Infinity War. After Thanos laid siege to the Asgardian ships from Thor: Ragnarok, Heimdall summoned the last of his powers to teleport Hulk back to Earth. His last action was a heroic one, and Thanos made him pay by taking his life. Heimdall and Loki's murders were the primary motivation for Thor to get revenge on the Mad Titan. Although he probably should have aimed for the head.
Now that Heimdall's story has been wrapped up, it frees Idris Elba to hop over to DC and get a starring role in The Suicide Squad. The combination between Elba and James Gunn is enough to get most comic book fans extremely excited.
The Suicide Squad 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 was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. 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.