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The DC Extended Universe had a rocky start, with projects like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad failing to connect with audiences. The latter will be getting a sequel/reboot thanks to James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, featuring a handful of returning actors. But Will Smith won’t be reprising his role as Deadshot, and now one producer explained what happened.
From the cast of David Ayer’s 2017 Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn and Deadshot were arguably the two biggest characters. As such, fans were disappointed to learn that Will Smith wouldn’t be reprising his role in James Gunn’s upcoming R-rated blockbuster. During a set visit attended by CinemaBlend, Producer Peter Safran spoke to journalists about Deadshot’s absence, and the practical reason why Will Smith didn’t return. In his words,
Well, there you have it. Will Smith is an extremely busy star, who is usually in high demand. And when a scheduling conflict prevented him from playing Deadshot in The Suicide Squad for James Gunn, the producers had to shift the story, and instead introduce new characters like Idris Elba’s Bloodsport.
Peter Safran’s comments from The Suicide Squad’s set visit show what it’s really like working on a massive DC blockbuster. While audiences get to see a shiny finished product, they’re each ultimately made by a group of people. And sometimes very real life things like scheduling can result in a seismic change on screen. Case in point: the cast of James Gunn’s upcoming DC debut.
The Suicide Squad will be hitting HBO Max at the same time as theaters. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
When it was first revealed that Will Smith wasn’t going to be returning for The Suicide Squad, heads definitely turned. It was originally reported that Idris Elba was going to replace him in the role, before Elba was instead cast as Bloodsport. This should allow Smith to hopefully return to the DCEU sometime in the future.
Luckily for fans, we won’t have to wait long before our questions about The Suicide Squad are finally answered. The first reactions to the blockbuster have been overwhelmingly positive, and it should be interesting to see how James Gunn’s sensibilities as a filmmaker translate to the DCEU.
The Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 6th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.
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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.