When Idris Elba first signed on to star in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, rumor had it that he’d the British actor would take over the role of Deadshot from Will Smith, who bowed out due to scheduling conflicts. Months later, news broke that Gunn was set to completely remove the sharpshooting assassin from his script out of respect for Smith — but Elba would stay on board the project. So who would he play instead? Gunn and Warner Bros. were tight-lipped. That is, until the DC FanDome event.
On Saturday, Gunn took the digital stage to finally announce Elba’s role in the reboot-ish sequel: He’s playing Bloodsport.
The character has had a few variations since his creation in 1987, but basically, he uses guns to take on Superman. His original origin saw a man have a mental break after finding out that his brother took his place in the draft for Vietnam, and was manipulated by Lex Luthor into blaming Superman. A version of the character also appeared in The CW’s Supergirl.
The Suicide Squad once again stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, fresh off the events of Birds of Prey, along with Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.
There are a ton of other newbies joining Elba. The announced cast includes Michael Rooker as Savant, Flula Borg as Javelin, Alice Braga as Solsoria, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., John Cena as Peacemaker, Peter Capaldi as the Thinker, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Mayling Ng as Mongal, newcomer Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher, and Sean Gunn and Steve Agee as the voices/motion capture artists behind Weasel and King Shark, respectively.
The Suicide Squad was one of the few movies to complete shooting before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most film production around the world. The film is currently set to hit theaters on Aug. 6, 2021.