When Idris Elba was first announced to be joining the cast of The Suicide Squad, he was pegged to replace Will Smith as Deadshot. This was then swiftly changed, presumably because the studio are holding out hope that Smith might return one day in the future and recasting one of the biggest movie stars in the business might not have sat well with the fans.
With the entire ensemble having been allocated their alter egos recently, we know that the Luther star is suiting up as Bloodsport, a relatively obscure comic book villain that usually appears as an enemy of Superman. Margot Robbie might be taking top billing as Harley Quinn to provide the connective tissue to the rest of the DCEU, but based on the footage we’ve seen so far, it looks like Bloodsport will be positioned as the team’s leader.
Of course, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Elba has never really been afforded the opportunity to show what he can do in a big budget blockbuster outside of canceling the apocalypse in Pacific Rim, having been a minor player as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Heimdall that the 48 year-old himself admitted he was never truly satisfied with. Not to mention thankless roles in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Prometheus, as well as being buried under heavy prosthetics in Star Trek Beyond and his one-dimensional bad guy in Hobbs & Shaw.
In a recent social media post, though, director James Gunn revealed that not only did he write the role of Bloodsport entirely for Elba, but the actor has already exceeded his expectations.
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I rarely write roles for actors I've never met, but I did exactly that for @idriselba in #TheSuicideSquad & couldn't be happier I did – you went beyond my expectations as an actor AND as a human being. I can't wait for folks to see you as #Bloodsport. Happy Birthday, my friend!
The Suicide Squad is already shaping up to be vastly superior to David Ayer’s previous effort, with the lack of studio interference also a huge bonus, and if there’s one filmmaker that knows his way around a comic book movie full of misfits and loners, then it’s the man behind Guardians of the Galaxy.