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The Suicide Squad’s Idris Elba Talks Those Will Smith Replacement Rumors And What James Gunn Told Him From The Start

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Comic book fans can’t wait for the DCEU to finally return to theaters with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. The R-rated blockbuster is a sequel/reboot to David Ayer’s 2017 movie, and will feature a handful of returning characters. One newcomer debuting is Idris Elba as Bloodsport, and the actor recently responded to those early rumors he was replacing Will Smith as Deadshot.

When The Suicide Squad's cast was being put together, fans were shocked that Will Smith wouldn’t be reprising his role as Deadshot. And after Idris Elba was cast, there were reports that he might be taking on the mantle. Instead, Elba is playing a new character in Bloodsport, and opened up about those rumors, saying:

There was a rumor that my character might be a replacement for Will’s character in the first movie, but no, James had really very clearly stated that wasn’t what we were doing.

Well, there you have it. It looks like Idris Elba was never in the running to replace Will Smith as Deadshot. Instead, James Gunn made it clear that Elba was bringing something new to the DC Extended Universe with The Suicide Squad. And that should presumably leave the door open for Smith to return to his role sometime in the future.

Idris Elba’s comments to Esquire help to peel back the curtain on what it’s really like working on a big blockbuster like The Suicide Squad. Since fans are so psyched for James Gunn’s DC blockbuster to finally arrive, there have been a number of rumors surrounding its mysterious contents. Luckily, Gunn and company have been pretty good at shutting said rumors down along the way.

The Suicide Squad will be available on HBO Max at the same time as theaters. You can use this link to sign up (opens in new tab) for the streaming service.

While Deadshot will be noticeably absent from The Suicide Squad, James Gunn is introducing a ton of new characters to the DCEU. This includes Bloodshot, who looks like he’s going to be one of the primary protagonists of the blockbuster. Later in the same interview, Idris Elba explained why he signed on for the gig, saying:

I signed on because I really wanted to work with James. He’s a genius, I think. I really was so touched and honored that someone of his talent was really keen to work with me, even though we didn’t have a necessary roadmap of who the character was. I very quickly invested in the exploration of that, because we could go anywhere.

James Gunn has certainly made a name for himself recently, especially within the comic book genre. And while fans are psyched to see the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker turn his focus to DC, it’s that reputation that also attracted Idris Elba to the project. And fans can’t wait to see all Bloodsport has to offer.

While James Gunn has been teasing his ability to kill off the characters of The Suicide Squad, hopefully Idris Elba’s Bloodsport isn’t one of them. Because after all this talk, I’m dying to see another sequel featuring both him and Will Smith’s Deadshot on Task Force X. Fingers crossed.

The Suicide Squad will arrive in theaters on August 6th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

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 CinemaBend. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.