Deadshot has been nixed from Warner Bros.'s The Suicide Squad, but Idris Elba is staying on as a new, undisclosed character, according to Variety.
Elba was reportedly cast to play Deadshot in March after Will Smith backed out of the sequel citing "schedule conflicts" in February. Variety is careful to note that previous reporting was correct, but that now writer/director James Gunn no longer wants to use the Deadshot character - though he wants to keep Elba.
"It is unknown what character Elba would now be playing, but after taking the last few weeks to discuss, everyone involved felt this was the right move," writes Variety's Justin Kroll. "The team also did not want to feel as if it was disrespecting Smith, who helped bring this character to life for the first time, by replacing him with Elba. While many believe chances are still slim for a future return, the decision keeps the door open for Smith to possibly come back in future films, since his original reason for leaving had to do with scheduling and not creative differences."
The Suicide Squad is scheduled to open in theaters August 6, 2021.