It’s always a bit jarring when a familiar face gets recast in an ongoing series, like when Maggie Gyllenhaal took over for Katie Holmes in the Batman films, so it may come as a bit of a relief to learn that Idris Elba won’t be replacing Will Smith in the upcoming The Suicide Squad.
During the brief period when he was fired from Marvel–Disney, director James Gunn defected to Warner–DC, where it was announced that he’d be taking on sequel to (and now a complete reboot of) 2016’s Suicide Squad, with many of the original cast returning, minus Will Smith.
Initially, it was reported that Idris Elba would be taking over the role of Deadshot, but the filmmakers have had a change of heart, feeling that it was the “right move” to have him play someone new, as it would be disrespectful to Smith, who “helped bring the character to life” the first time around.
Smith said that he dropped out of the next Suicide Squad due to a scheduling conflict rather than creative differences, so this would theoretically leave the door open for him to return to playing Deadshot in a future DC Universe movie, should he wish to do so.
Margot Robbie will reprise her role of Harley Quinn in the upcoming reboot, while Australia‘s Jai Courtney will return as Captain Boomerang, and Octavia Spencer will play Amanda Waller. At this stage it is unknown which role Elba will be playing.