Will Smith is relieved that his role as Deadshot in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad wasn’t recast for James Gunn’s 2021 film. In an interview with GQ, where the actor went undercover to interact with fans online, he expressed an interest in reprising the role if the opportunity presented itself.
At the time, The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran admitted that scheduling conflicts were one of the major reasons Will Smith didn’t return for the film. And once Smith realized the character wasn’t recast, he was open to the idea of making a comeback. “They left out Deadshot, right? All right, cool, so I can come back,” he told the publication.
Released in 2016, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was met with scathing reviews from critics, despite earning an impressive profit at the box office. The film featured an ensemble cast including Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood, Karen Fukuhara, Ike Barinholtz, and Cara Delevingne.
The story followed a secret government agency led by Amanda Waller who recruits imprisoned supervillains like Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Deadshot (Will Smith) to execute dangerous black ops missions and save the world from a powerful threat in exchange for reduced sentences.
Despite its critical failure, Suicide Squad’s financial performance was enough incentive for Warner Bros. to greenlight a sequel – although the only thing linking the James Gunn-directed follow-up is a handful of returning cast members. Unfortunately, Will Smith was unable to return for the movie and his leading role was given to Idris Elba, who played a different character named Bloodsport.
Rumors suggest that this was specifically done so that Will Smith could return to play Deadshot in the future if he so chooses to. Interestingly, Deadshot and Bloodsport share a few superficial similarities despite being completely different characters. They are both mercenaries and share narrative story arcs involving an estranged young daughter.
Directed and written by James Gunn, The Suicide Squad followed the imprisoned convicts of Belle Reve penitentiary who are sent as members of Task Force X to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim. The Nazi-era prison and laboratory held political prisoners and conducted experiments on them. But during their mission, the squad comes into conflict with Starro, a giant, telepathic alien starfish. The film was released in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6th.
Meanwhile, Will Smith fans can catch him in the biographical drama, King Richard. The story details the life of Richard Williams, the father, and coach of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. The cast also includes Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, and Dylan McDermott. The movie will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on November 19th.
The actor will also be starring in Bright 2, the sequel to the 2017 film that kicked off the aspiring Netflix franchise. According to Deadline, Louis Leterrier is currently in talks to direct the fantasy sequel with Will Smith and Joel Edgerton returning as the mismatched, crime-fighting couple.