The Suicide Squad will not be replacing Will Smith's Deadshot with Idris Elba, though Elba will remain a part of the cast. The film was originally planning to have Elba take over the role for a new story but has instead moved him to another character which has not yet been revealed.
"Though it was previously reported that Elba would be replacing Will Smith as Deadshot in the new pic, sources now tell Variety that all parties including director James Gunn have decided to move on from the Deadshot character, with Elba playing a new character in The Suicide Squad," Variety reports. Warner Bros. has not commented on the decision.
The film continues to be quite a mystery on many fronts. Gunn is attached to directed the film with certain cast members from the original Suicide Squad set to appear. Viola Davis will reprise her role as Amanda Waller, while Joel Kinnaman and Jai Courtney will also be back as Rick Flag and Captain Boomerang, respectively.
"It's called The Suicide Squad,' Shazam! producer Peter Safran recently told ComicBook.com. "It's not Suicide Squad 2. It is not a sequel. I will leave that alone but, yes, it's called The Suicide Squad."
Elba's shifting in roles does not mean Will Smith will return to the franchise as Deadshot. The character is not expected to appear in The Suicide Squad, at all.
"Warner Bros. and Gunn moved instantly to add Elba to the team after the director and actor sat down days after Smith’s departure," Variety notes. "The meeting went so well that Elba agreed on the spot to join the next installment, but even at that time it was not set in stone whether he’d be playing Deadshot or a brand new member of the team."
According to the same report, Margot Robbie is expected to reprise her role as Harley Quinn for the film, on the heels of her upcoming Birds of Prey film.
The Suicide Squad does not yet have a release date. DC's Shazam! is now playing in theaters.