When Idris Elba was announced as a cast member for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, many rumors floated around that the actor has been roped in to play the part of deadly assassin Deadshot, which was played by Will Smith in David Ayer’s 2016 released Suicide Squad. Though it was reported by many that it was the negative reception from DC fans that pushed Gunn to make Elba play the character of Bloodsport instead, the Luther star has recently disclosed that contrary to the rumors the only reason he signed on to The Suicide Squad was that James Gunn was helming it and he had no idea about his role in the film.
“I signed on because I really wanted to work with James. He’s a genius, I think. I really was so touched and honored that someone of his talent was really keen to work with me, even though we didn’t have a necessary roadmap of who the character was. I very quickly invested in the exploration of that, because we could go anywhere,” Idris Elba shared in a chat with Esquire.
And as for the reports that said that Idris Elba was originally brought on board to play Deadshot, the actor shot those down as well.
“There was a rumour that my character might be a replacement for Will’s character in the first movie, but no, James had really very clearly stated that wasn’t what we were doing,” Idris Elba shared.
What really happened was when Idris Elba signed on, James Gunn initially had no specific character for the actor in mind.
“Essentially, we got invested in the possibilities. There were maybe a few possibilities of a character from the DC universe that could be implemented into the film. However, what really sat at the heart of it was James wanting to take a sort of old 80s action hero-type character and dismantle that. Then get into these great discussions about what that might look like, and how we do that, and it became very clear that he wanted to use Bloodsport as that character,” the Thor actor shared.
While James Gunn’s dream team for The Suicide Squad started with Idris Elba, he went on to collect an impressive cast for his not-remake-not-reboot. The director has returned a few of the cast members from the first film- Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Colonel Rick Flag, and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. The remaining actors in the upcoming film will all be playing new characters- Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, John Cena as Peacemaker, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Flula Borg as Javelin, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, Steve Agee as King Shark, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., Michael Rooker as Savant, Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Mayling Ng as Mongal, and Sean Gunn as Weasel. The Suicide Squad is will be releasing across theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.