David Ayer’s villainous comic book caper, Suicide Squad, has lost a key player today. The news comes courtesy of THR, who report that Inception and Mad Max: Fury Road star Tom Hardy has bowed out of the picture. Originally signed on to lead the ragtag bunch of nefarious baddies as Squad leader Rick Flag, Hardy’s juicy role is now back on the market.
After weeks of rumoured chatter, late last year Hardy was cast in the pivotal role. His name was announced alongside a starry line-up that includes Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Cara Delevigne as Enchantress, and Jared Leto as The Joker.
As yet we don’t know the reason why Hardy exited the picture, although it’s thought that his involvement in The Revenant might be a contributing factor. The shooting schedule for the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-helmed drama has been pushed back, dominoing against his press duties for Mad Max: Fury Road, which is set to open in the midst of the Suicide shoot on May 15th.
A follow-up report from The Wrap suggests that a vacant slot in one of DC’s hottest properties won’t stay empty for long. According to their sources, Ayer’s End Of Watch star Jake Gyllenhaal is hotly tipped to nab the role. Should negotiations go smoothly, this would mark Gyllenhaal’s first foray into big screen comic book territory. Last year, his name appeared on a shortlist for Marvel’s Doctor Strange, but Benedict Cumberbatch wound up locking down the part. Nevertheless, Gyllenhaal’s in perfect shape to tackle the fighting fit role after coming off Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw, for which he packed on a ton of muscle to play a boxer.
Whether Gyllenhaal takes the role or not, Suicide Squad is still on track to open in theaters on August 5th, 2016.