Idris Elba Won’t Be Playing Deadshot In The Suicide Squad After All

Idris Elba holding gun in Bastille Day

Last month, it was reported that due to scheduling issues, Will Smith wouldn’t reprise Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, in The Suicide Squad. Days later, word came in that Idris Elba had been tapped to replace Smith as the assassin, but apparently now plans have changed. Elba is still attached to the sequel, but he won’t be playing Deadshot.

According to Variety, Deadshot has been removed from The Suicide Squad by director/writer James Gunn and the rest of the creative team, and Idris Elba will instead play a brand new character. It wasn’t revealed who Elba will now be portraying, but evidently it was decided in recent weeks that it was the “right move” for him to vacate the Deadshot role, as those involved didn’t want it to feel as if they were “disrespecting” Will Smith, who first brought the character to life on the big screen in 2016’s Suicide Squad. While it remains to be seen if Smith will ever play Deadshot again, the door is at least now open for him to return at some point rather than being prevented from doing so because Elba took on the Deadshot reins.

So now Deadshot is off the table for The Suicide Squad, although if there’s the possibility of Will Smith playing the character again, then naturally Floyd Lawton is still alive in the DC Extended Universe, and is likely either still custody at Belle Reve or managed to escape imprisonment and resume his mercenary duties. In any case, Idris Elba is too big of a Hollywood star for The Suicide Squad team to let go of, so it shouldn’t take long for them to find someone else for him to play. Bronze Tiger is a reasonable choice, since like Deadshot, he was one of the original members of the first Task Force X that debuted in the late 1980s. But he’s just one of numerous potential candidates on the table, with plenty of others, like Blockbuster and Multiplex, just waiting to be adapted for the big screen.

While The Suicide Squad had previously been described as a “total reboot,” it will maintain some connectivity with the last Suicide Squad movie through some familiar faces. Margot Robbie is expected to play Harley Quinn again following her return to the DCEU in Birds of Prey, Jai Courtney confirmed that he’ll reprise Captain Boomerang and Viola Davis is reportedly back as Amanda Waller. There are conflicting reports about whether or not Joel Kinnaman will play Rick Flag again.

However, despite a few Suicide Squad characters returning, The Suicide Squad has been conceived as a “relaunch” that will feature a mostly new cast. No plot details have been revealed yet, but it will maintain the same premise of incarcerated supervillains going on dangerous, covert black ops missions for the U.S. government in exchange for reduced sentences and other forms of leniency.

The Suicide Squad charges into theaters on August 6, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates. In the meantime, look through our DC movies guide to learn what else is coming down the DCEU pipeline.

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.