Idris Elba is in talks to replace Will Smith in the upcoming Suicide Squad sequel. The project is being helmed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2 director James Gunn and Warner Bros.
The move follows Will Smith’s exit from the film last week. Smith, along with Margot Robbie, was one of the leads in the 2016 movie and played the assassin Deadshot.
Elba met with Gunn on Friday and it’s said that he was the first and only choice for Gunn and Warner Bros. The studio is passionately behind The Suicide Squad and its script. Gunn has turned out several drafts for the project and they’re already launching into the casting stage.
Gunn is said to be using DC characters that did not appear in David Ayer’s 2016 film although several characters are expected to be returning including Deadshot, Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, and Rick Flagg, previously played by Joel Kinnaman.
Elba has been a hot commodity in Hollywood over the past few months. On Saturday, he will host the 17th episode of the 44th season of Saturday Night Live. He also plays a villain in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, opening Aug. 2, and has just finished filming Universal’s adaptation of the Broadway musical, Cats, in which he plays the feline Macavity.
The Suicide Squad has an expected release date of Aug. 6, 2021.