Reducing our list of compelling reasons to see the Suicide Squad follow-up all the way down to “Hey, maybe Slipknot will show up again*,” Variety reports today that Will Smith has formally bowed out of the anti-heroic sequel. The former international superstar turned mid-level Facebook “challenge video” host was forced to back out of a potential reprisal of his role as badass mercenary Deadshot, due to scheduling conflicts with the James Gunn-directed film.
(Oh scheduling issues, you old tease. Why couldn’t you bedevil the Aladdin remake instead?)
To be fair, Smith hadn’t officially signed on for a second movie about everyone’s favorite group of crime-doing/stopping misfits, although it was assumed that his Deadshot—one of the highlights of an original movie that wasn’t exactly drowning in them—would pop in for at least a minute or two to say “Hey.” (Especially since Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, the first film’s other big-name star, is likely to be busy having elaborately-subtitled adventures with her new pals over in the Birds Of Prey.) Smith—who launched a new Facebook Watch series today—reportedly parted from the film on amicable terms, because, really, how else can you imagine Will Smith departing from anything?
The second Suicide Squad film is being written and directed by Gunn, who drifted over to Warner Bros. after his unpleasant departure from Disney’s Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise. The film is currently scheduled for an August, 2021 release.
*Slipknot will almost certainly not show up again.