Joel Kinnaman Unlikely To Return For James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

We’ve heard it said for a while now that James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will feature a mostly-new cast, and with the recent departure of Will Smith from the project, that claim may be truer than even Warner Bros. intended. That being said, it’s generally expected that the follow-up to 2016’s Suicide Squad will at least see Harley Quinn return to the fray, even if it’s yet to be confirmed that Margot Robbie is reprising her role. But as for Joel Kinnaman’s Col. Rick Flag, well, that remains to be seen.

THR recently reported that Idris Elba is in talks to replace Smith as the new Deadshot, and in a paragraph near the bottom of the article, some additional intel is relayed:

“Gunn is said to be using mostly DC characters who did not appear in David Ayer’s 2016 film although several are expected to return including Deadshot, Harley Quinn and Rick Flagg, originally played by Joel Kinnaman, say sources. Another source, however, says Flagg is no longer in the follow-up.”

From the sound of things, THR is getting mixed messages on what’s happening with Kinnaman and his character, but at the very least, Rick’s future in the DCEU is starting to look a little uncertain.

Either way, it’s said that the pace is really picking up for Gunn’s soft reboot, with THR reporting that Warner is “extremely high” on the new script, and that the project is “barrelling forward into the casting stage.” Meanwhile, though Elba isn’t officially on board just yet, it sounds like the studio is exceedingly keen on landing him as their next Deadshot, with the actor said to be Gunn and Warner’s “first and only” choice to replace Smith.

With things progressing this quickly, hopefully we’ll get some clarification in the near future on Kinnaman, Elba and Robbie’s involvement in The Suicide Squad, or lack thereof. But either way, we still have quite a wait ahead of us before the film hits theaters on on August 6th, 2021.