Exclusive: Will Smith Is Deadshot In James Gunn DC Universe

Our sources say that in the DCU that exists after the upcoming reboot following The Flash, Will Smith will once again play Deadshot.

By Michileen Martin | Updated

will smith deadshot

Last time scheduling got in the way, but next time Chris Rock‘s least favorite Oscar winner will have a spot on Task Force X. Our trusted and proven sources tell us that Will Smith will return to the role of Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot in the DCU. Smith was the first actor to play a live-action version of the comic book assassin in a feature film in 2016’s Suicide Squad.

Considering everything, Will Smith’s return to the role of Deadshot shouldn’t be a huge surprise. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was torn to shreds by critics, but even the film’s biggest detractors praised many of the actors, including Smith. The Bad Boys for Life star was asked to return for James Gunn‘s “soft reboot” — 2021’s The Suicide Squad — but a scheduling conflict made it impossible.

Back when casting news began surfacing for The Suicide Squad, Variety reported that Gunn first approached Idris Elba specifically in the hopes of replacing Will Smith as Deadshot, but apparently after their first meeting, it was decided the Luther lead would play a different character. Elba would ultimately be revealed to play the Superman villain Bloodsport, but in the meantime, rumors swirled about Deathstroke, Bronze Tiger, and Sportsmaster.

One of the benefits of casting Elba as a different character is that it left the option open for Will Smith to return as Deadshot at a later date.

will smith margot robbie
Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad (2016)

Ironically, Elba’s Bloodsport was arguably more like Will Smith’s Deadshot than he was like DC Comics’ Bloodsport; at least the original incarnation of the character. Like Deadshot, the Bloodsport of The Suicide Squad had a daughter and like Deadshot, Idris Elba‘s character was a marksman as well as a mercenary. Meanwhile, in the source material, Bloodsport starts off as a gunman who makes lots of noise about his time in the service, but by the end of his first appearance, we learn he’s a draft dodger who went mad with guilt and grief after his brother went to Vietnam in his place and was crippled in combat.

As for when we can expect to see Will Smith return as Deadshot, we’re not sure, but we would assume it would be whenever James Gunn gets around to making a sequel to The Suicide Squad. If Idris Elba likewise returns as Bloodsport, it could make for a rivalry at least a little similar to the one we see between Bloodsport and John Cena‘s Peacemaker in the first film.

When Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) introduces Peacemaker and Bloodsport to one another, the latter famously says, “You just said each member of the team is chosen for their unique abilities. He does exactly what I do.” You could easily say the same about Bloodsport and Deadshot.