Will Smith has reportedly departed the Suicide Squad franchise, leaving a big, burly hole in the middle of a superhero team with just as many problems off screen as on it.
Variety reports Smith, who portrayed trained killer Deadshot in the critically dogged 2016 blockbuster, is very unlikely to join cast mates Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis in the sequel.
Citing sources with knowledge of the sitch, Variety reckons the key factor wasn’t the original film’s lukewarm reception, but simple scheduling conflicts.
The outlet reports production is slated to begin in just a few months, which might present an issue for Smith: just today, he revealed a brand new reality show on Facebook Watch of all places. That’s in addition to his upcoming press commitments to the Aladdin remake.
It’s worth noting Smith was never officially confirmed to appear in the sequel, but DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. would have likely been keen to reassemble the remainder of the gang for any future cinematic instalments.
Elsewhere, Robbie is also set to reprise her role as Harley Quinn in spin-off Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), while rumours of a stand-alone Joker movie starring Leto were put on hold due to the emergence of Joaquin Phoenix‘s imminent take on the cackling villain.
Of course, the new Suicide Squad film is being helmed by James Gunn, the ex-Guardians Of The Galaxy director who was cleaved from his Marvel Studios position after some rank tweets from his past were recirculated online.
It’s a lot! Perhaps too much! But it’s a situation Smith reportedly now has no part of. RIP, Deadshot, we guess.