After being absent from James Gunn's The Suicide Squad it wasn't clear if Will Smith would ever suit up again as his DC villain character Deadshot for another movie. Speaking in a new GQ "Undercover" video however, the Oscar-nominated actor confirmed reports that popped up around the time that Gunn's movie was being assembled, revealing: "Yeah, I was working and they were ready to shoot. It was a timing issue;" but also confirming that he'd be back for another adventure if asked! "They left Deadshot out, right?" Smith asked, receiving an affirmative from off camera. :So Idris is playing a different character or is he playing Deadshot? All right, cool, so I can come back."
To Smith's credit, it was unclear at first if Idris Elba was replacing him in the part or not as the first reports on Gunn's movie indicated that he would be taking the Deadshot role. Though the talent behind the film later denied that this was the case, some interviews have confirmed that talks took place (not to mention the plot of the movie sure seems like Bloodsport's place in the movie was slotted in after Deadshot became unavailabale).
"We discussed it," producer Peter Safran previously admitted of Smith's potential return in The Suicide Squad. "But I think the Will [Smith] of it all was really more of a schedule thing than anything else. We knew we had to start shooting in September because, frankly, we knew probably earlier than other people did that James was going to come back and do Guardians. So it was really important that we started shooting when we started shooting and Will wasn't available, and that kind of made it easier all around. What are you going to do? He's not available. So it's also nice to, frankly, help separate it from the first movie, I think, in a greater fashion."
For Elba however, rumors that he would be playing Deadshot were beneficial for the production who went out of their way to keep his character a secret.
"Those rumors would be natural because Will said he wasn't joining the second movie, so it was quite natural for audiences or fans to think that I would be taking over the Deadshot character because the Deadshot character lived in the other movie," Elba told Entertainment Tonight. "But I'm really satisfied that James [Gunn] didn't want to do that, I didn't want to do that. Deadshot is a great character and Will slays it, so I was really keen the audience and fans kept that rumor going [laughs]."