Deadshot

When The Suicide Squad started to assemble its cast, it was originally announced that Idris Elba would be replacing Will Smith as Deadshot, seemingly ending any lingering hopes that the actor would be returning to the DCEU in the future, a far cry from when he was hyping up a potential solo movie for Floyd Lawton.

Of course, Elba was swiftly announced to be playing Bloodsport instead, leaving the door open for Smith to make a comeback somewhere down the line. Inevitably, there’s been no shortage of rumors that the Bad Boys and Independence Day star is poised to suit up again in any number of projects, but as of yet he hasn’t committed to anything in an official capacity.

In a new interview, The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran admitted that scheduling issues were partly to blame for Deadshot sitting out James Gunn’s hybrid of sequel and reboot, and Smith was simply unavailable during the production timetable.

“We discussed it, it was 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.”

The Suicide Squad started shooting in September 2019 and wrapped principal photography in February 2020, while Smith was busy with Bad Boys for Life until June 2019 before kicking off Richard Williams biopic King Richard in January of the following year, so Safran’s information checks out.

The former Fresh Prince isn’t the sort of talent who runs through a series of projects one after the other, and the crunch presented by Gunn’s rehiring for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 necessitated a certain timeline. Should The Suicide Squad perform well enough to warrant a third installment, then there’s still every chance that Deadshot could be invited back into the fold the next time the DCEU’s ragtag band of misfits and murderers are required.