Can the Suicide Squad film series survive, much less flourish, without Will Smith, who played Deadshot in the original film?
Variety is reporting that Smith is not going to be returning for the sequel. Scheduling is the stated reason for Smith’s decision, and Smith and the studio are said to be on good terms despite his exit.
Released on August 5, 2016, Suicide Squad accumulated a worldwide box-office gross of just under $750 Million against a production budget of approximately $175 Million. With the addition of marketing and publicity costs, the film was certainly a financial success but not a blockbuster success.
While Warner Bros. never formally announced what cast members from the first film would be returning for the sequel, insiders say that the studio very much wanted Smith, along with Margot Robbie, who played Harley Quinn in the first film, to return for the sequel. All other casting decisions were said to be entirely peripheral, secondary, to Robbie and Smith’s involvement.
Despite this disappointing news, Warner Bros. is said to still be bullish on the sequel and the overall film series. Will Smith hasn’t commented on this report.
The sequel is being directed and written by James Gunn, who was hired last year. Production on the sequel was supposed to begin this fall.
The current release date for the sequel is August 6, 2021.