Recent reports on The Suicide Squad have revealed that Idris Elba will not be replacing Will Smith's Deadshot, and that the actor will be playing another character within the movie. So if Elba isn't playing Deadshot, which villain will director James Gunn have him play? Here are some villains that would be a good fit for the actor, and one just may be the villain he'll portray in The Suicide Squad.
A frequent face on the Suicide Squad, Bronze Tiger is a martial arts master and ranked among some of the best fighters in DC Comics. He's not a metahuman, which should speak to just how capable of a fighter he is. Including Bronze Tiger in the squad introduces some muscle, and some badass kung fu skills that would make for great action-packed scenes.
It's worth mentioning that Idris Elba has some professional fighting experience, which could point to Bronze Tiger. Of course, a stunt double can be used for other stuff, but Elba's fighting experience should be enough to get face shots of him dealing justice. Plus, Bronze Tiger is a frequent presence in John Ostrander's comic book run, which James Gunn recently referenced in his Instagram stories (via We Got This Covered). Of all the options, this one feels incredibly likely.
Though the name may suggest otherwise, Nemesis is one of the few non-criminal members of the Suicide Squad. Thomas Andrew Tresser was a vigilante turned operative who joined the team as a debt after his life was saved by Amanda Waller and Rick Flag. Nemesis is a master of disguise and all in all a capable operative with some deep roots within the team.
Adding Nemesis to the team may not be the sexiest option for The Suicide Squad, but there's some potential there in giving him some chemistry with quite a few members. Nemesis has ties to the returning Waller, but also historically has a romantic relationship with Nightshade. Should she and her bonkers skill set join the team, there's a chance for some love to develop in a way that isn't nearly as toxic as Harley and Joker's relationship.
A character mainstream audiences may not be familiar with, Black Spider was first introduced in the mid-70s as a former heroin addict turn vigilante. Eric Needham takes his fight to the drug trade, and becomes a killer of those who push drugs. His methods have put him at odds with heroes like Batman, who he's clashed with in the past for trying to stop him. With that said, he's more apt to fight villains than he is heroes.
Should Idris Elba play the Black Spider, we're imagining The Suicide Squad will feature an alternative costume of the character without the mask. After all, why pay for such a talented and recognizable star only to cover his face for a bulk of the movie? His hatred of criminals (despite being one) would create an interesting dynamic between him and the other roster, which may justify his place on the team more than anything else.
Idris Elba could be the character Manhunter, specifically the Mark Shaw version. Shaw's crime fighting abilities are a result of the Manhunter cult, which has provided him with the training and equipment capable of tracking targets across several terrains. Basically, he's the guy The Suicide Squad will turn to to find a missing person, and he'll find them sooner than later. He's kind of like the Yautja Predator, but if they were human.
Manhunter is as solid a choice as any, and his power baton allows for close quarters fighting that makes for some cool sequences. Plus, the Manhunter cult gives an added dimension to the story that could be examined in a spinoff should the character prove popular with audiences. DC never seems to miss an opportunity for a spinoff, so why not bring in a character with the potential to make one?
Sportsmaster has had quite a few interpretations of the character over the years, and has been everything from a criminal who dons sports equipment to a metahuman with "photographic reflexes." Lawrence Crock, Victor Grover, Martin Mantle Jr., there's a lot of characters with a lot of backgrounds and powers that Idris Elba could portray, or he could play some entirely new interpretation made for The Suicide Squad.
If there was one director fans would trust with changing a goofy villain up a bit, it's James Gunn. Plus, he's got the chops to make a villain like Sportsmaster look dangerous, and dare I say, cool? It's certainly a possibility if Gunn is running the show, and Idris Elba's comedic chops are there to make for a funny character. At the same time, he's naturally badass, so he may be the perfect person to play this character.
We know him, we love him, and there's no denying the world would go crazy if the character appeared in The Suicide Squad. Bane is one of Batman's fiercest adversaries, not to mention an incredibly strong and intelligent villain in the DC Universe. Bane's appearance would be such a big deal it would effectively make Harley Quinn the second most interesting Batman villain in the project. Given the amount of love Margot Robbie's character has, that's an impressive feat.
Now, there's a small army of folks that really want to see Dave Bautista play Bane in The Suicide Squad, but imagine how cool Idris Elba would look wearing the mask? Size would be a bit of an issue, as while Elba is well-built, he's not quite the hulking behemoth Bane has been shown to be. CGI can fix that, though, if he uses the venom, and the film could also get away with a grounded look with Elba's physique.
Here's another character that could have varied interpretations, as Chronos can be anyone from a villain that's really good at timing to a literal time traveler. Hell, he can be both, which could position him as one of the most powerful villains to be a part of The Suicide Squad. That said, it would be hard to have a villain capable of time travel in custody, so maybe just the time mastery would be a part of the character?
What if Chronos' powers were limited by being in the Suicide Squad, but a future version of himself pops into the adventure and helps him get out of his contract? Something like that is why Idris Elba should play Chronos, if only to shake up the The Suicide Squad and make this film more than just villains working together to defeat other bad guys. Raise the stakes, and perhaps lay the groundwork for another true follow up film.
The Suicide Squad is expected to arrive in 2021, which is still a ways off. CinemaBlend will continue to report on updates on the movie in the meantime, and hopefully, we'll learn which character Idris Elba is playing soon.