Photo: Amy Sussman (Getty Images)

Thor star Idris Elba is about to join the vaunted “two superhero cinematic universes” club, albeit in kind of a weird way: Variety is reporting that the former watcher of the Bifrost has just signed on for James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel, where he’ll be replacing Will Smith in the role of the lethally accurate hitman Deadshot.

Smith announced last week that he was dropping out of the DC Comics sequel, owing to issues with his scheduling. (He’s got an extremely busy calendar of Facebook Watch videos and shirtless blue Disney monstrosities to keep to, don’cha’know.) His departure deprived the sequel of the vast majority of its star power, though, depending on how likely you think it is that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn will be back, or, barring that, whether you think audiences will be bouncing in their seats to see Rick Flag again. (Remember Rick Flag? He had a gun! He may have died in the first one! We don’t remember!)

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In Elba, the film’s producers at Warner Bros. have likely found someone who can carry that burden; he’s one of the most in-demand actors working at the moment, from the upcoming Fast And The Furious spin-off Hobbs And Shaw, all the way over to the live-action version of Cats. He’s also recently showed his willingness to play loathsome, irredeemable villains of no perceivable social worth, starring as a club DJ in Netflix’s Turn Up Charlie.

Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel is set for an Aug. 6, 2021 release.

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