The Cool Way The Suicide Squad’s James Gunn Changed Idris Elba’s Bloodsport From The Comics

Bloodsport (Idris Elba) looks ahead in The Suicide Squad (2021)

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James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will bring a number of things to the DC Extended Universe, including a plethora of new characters. New faces like John Cena’s Peacemaker and David Dastmalchian’s Polka-Dot Man are sure to spice things up for Task Force X. In the midst of so many eclectic characters, there’s also Bloodsport, played by the one and only Idris Elba. The character’s comic book history and movie backstory make him one of the deadliest members in the squad. But in making him dangerous and imposing, James Gunn found a cool way to change him up from his comic book counterpart.

Bloodsport is a classic DC Comics character, though he’s probably one that most general audiences are unfamiliar with. This may have been one of the reasons James Gunn didn’t mind taking liberties with certain aspects of his characterization. While speaking with IGN about the latest trailer for The Suicide Squad, Gunn explained how he wanted to update the character’s weaponry and appearance:

In the comics, his ability is to pull weaponry out of thin air. And the way we interpret that in this film is he has a costume that is covered with all these different gadgets that he uses, all this weaponry that are these transforming pieces of weaponry. And then he has this sort of creepy, Xenomorph-looking skull helmet, which I liked a lot. So I fell in love with the design, even though it looks very different from Bloodsport’s comic suit, [where he] wears camo pants and a bandana.

The character of Bloodsport (Robert DuBois) was introduced in the pages of Superman during the late ‘80s and, if you’ve read up on that version of the character, then you know he’s a bit tricky to pull off. So it was probably better that Gunn did alter the character in the ways that he did. Not only is his method of using weapons more practical, but his big-screen look is leagues better than his attire in the comics.

Still, James Gunn isn’t changing up every single thing about Bloodsport for The Suicide Squad. One part of the character that’s been kept intact is his deadly history with the Man of Steel. In the comics, Lex Luthor manipulated Bloodsport into assassinating Superman, which ended in the assassin critically injuring the hero with a Kryptonite needle. And in the DCEU, it seems Idris Elba’s iteration put Superman in the ICU after nipping him with a Kryptonite bullet. You can see the character in action in the new trailer down below:

James Gunn made certain choices with other characters for the film, and his reasoning sounds very practical. All in all, the mix of the old and the new should be enough to please both hardcore DC fans and casual viewers. Of course, I wouldn’t worry as much about the look of the characters as much as I would about their chances of surviving the mission.

The Suicide Squad arrives August 6th in theaters and on HBO Max, which you can sign up for using this link.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.