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Idris Elba Won’t Play Deadshot in The Suicide Squad, So Is This Who He’s Playing?

Honestly, I'm interested now.

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As we frequently write here, the future of the DCEU is in flux. Director James Gunn is now in charge of their Suicide Squad franchise, which brought in serious box office dollars but was a critical miss. The original Suicide Squad starred Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Deadshot.

Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, Smith could not return for the sequel; Idris Elba was brought on, originally to replace Deadshot but now to reportedly play a new character. In DC comics, the Suicide Squad has had a variety of members (many of whom died), but one particular name jumped out as a potential for Elba to play: Bronze Tiger.

Bronze Tiger, otherwise known as Ben Turner, is a martial arts master who was second in command to Rick Flag when he was a member of the Suicide Squad. He develops a relationship with fellow Squad member Vixen, and following Flag’s “death” becomes the leader of the team. While he enforces Amanda Waller’s rules, he also goes against orders to save his teammates, despite them being seen as expendable.

More of an anti-hero than a villain in his Squad incarnations, Turner could be a great role for Elba to play. We know that Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) will be returning, but we don’t know in what capacity. We also know that the film will be functioning as a soft reboot of the original, which was critically panned. The original featured Jared Leto’s take on the Joker; Leto has since all be removed from the DCEU and all projects featuring him have been shelved, including a planned Harley/Joker movie.

With Gunn reportedly trying to reboot the franchise, it might make sense to off Flag early on or midway through the film and have Elba’s Turner step up to lead the team. Harley is too much of a wild card to necessarily function as team leader, though the character’s popularity ensures she’ll be the protagonist. By having a new team leader step up, it would be a great way to reboot the team, and the character’s romance with Vixen opens the door to a new character being introduced.

Elba also has the gravitas and charm to really steal audiences’ hearts. Turner needs to be charming, kick-ass, and an all-around excellent character after the Hot Topic jokes in the first one. Elba not only has the sheer talent to bring his A-game to the film, which will hopefully feature a better script, but he also can bring charm and romance to the film. Seriously, he better get to charm Vixen (and the audience) because after the Harley/Joker “romance” we deserve a solid romantic plot.

Will Elba play Ben Turner in the film? Only time will tell. But this might be the most likely role for him, and it could be a great way to soft reboot the team by getting rid of Flag (sorry, Mr. Kinnamen) and making Elba the leader of the team. Regardless of who he’s playing, Elba’s inclusion makes me actually interested in the sequel/reboot/what-have-you.

Are you excited to see Elba join the Squad? Who do you think he’s playing?

(via Variety; image: STEFANIE LOOS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.