Last week, we received the sad news that Mad Max: Fury Road star Tom Hardy had dropped out of David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad adaptation, but were informed that Jake Gyllenhaal (who worked with Ayer in 2012’s End of Watch) was being eyed to replace him. Unfortunately, it appears that that’s not the case, and that the Squad is still one member short.
According to Variety, Gyllenhaal has passed on the offer to play Rick Flagg, who works for Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and leads the titular ragtag group of supervillains that includes Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, and Cara Delevigne as Enchantress.
For those upset about the fact that Gyllenhaal won’t be in the film, I suspect that this won’t be the last time he’ll up for a comic book movie role. He was previously approached for Marvel’s Doctor Strange (a role that eventually went to Benedict Cumberbatch) and was once primed to play Batman for Darren Aronofsky, before that film crumbled and instead became Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. So, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, as it leaves Gyllenhaal available for a meatier and more exciting role in the future.
With Ayer not expected to begin production on the high-profile DC Comics project until April, he still has plenty of time to find someone to fill Hardy’s shoes. Who that will be remains a mystery, but if Ayer was courting actors of Hardy and Gyllenhaal’s caliber, it’s bound to be someone good.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to blast into theaters on August 5th, 2016.