James Gunn’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Followup Will Reportedly Focus Heavily Upon The Recast Deadshot Role

Warner Bros.

With James Gunn’s relaunch/totally-not-a-reboot of a Suicide Squad followup shuffling around a substantially new assortment of characters (Collider has summarized several of them for the curious), it’s easy to wonder why Will Smith’s scheduling issues couldn’t simply result in a shelving of his character for a future or solo film, rather than a full-on recasting. Granted, more Idris Elba (who will probably replace Smith) in our lives is almost always a good thing. Yet why is Deadshot such an essential character for Gunn to include in this movie?

The plight of the assassin who never misses received a fair amount of airtime in the first Suicide Squad, mostly revolving around how hard it was (go figure) to parent a young child while also murdering people for an exorbitant amount of money. While the arc did a decent job of showing Deadshot’s conflicted nature, it seems that Gunn wanted more. The Hollywood Reporter now reports that the new script has “big plans” for Deadshot. That is, Gunn digs into his life while drawing upon the character’s late ’80s comic book incarnation:

A child of abusive parents, a young Floyd Lawton and his brother Edward were drawn into a plot to assassinate their father, George, by their mother who had been paralyzed at George’s hands. Floyd backs out at the last minute but accidentally fires a shot that kills his brother. It’s this act that awakens Floyd to the fact that he cares nothing about life, even when it concerns the people he cares about … Deadshot is contracted by his mother to finish off his father, when his therapist, Marnie Herrs, who he has developed romantic feelings for interferes, he paralyzes her, a decision that highlights his feelings for her but his ultimate inability to move past violence and develop a sense of empathy.

David Ayer’s first Suicide Squad film largely drew from the 2011 New 52 revamp of its monthly comic book titles, and Gunn is going back to basics — likely through a series of flashbacks, right? Well, Deadshot has been alternately described as a supervillain and an antihero over the years, and it’s clear from the above description that the Guardians of the Galaxy director wants to turn this character inside out to explore what makes him tick and possibly favor the antihero side of things.

Does this mean that we’ll see more than a surface treatment of the Squad at large? There’s no telling yet, but regardless of how deep Gunn plans to dive with these characters, it’s still arguably a little shady to call this film The Suicide Squad, even if the The (Real) Suicide Squad sentiment stands by drawing on the classics. Yet here we are. Also, Idris Elba is out there saying that he wants to be Donald Glover, so it’s an overall good day for Elba-centered news.

(Via Hollywood Reporter)