Idris Elba
Denis Makarenko /

Stop the press!  Word has emerged that Idris Elba is NOT replacing Will Smith as Deadshot in ‘The Suicide Squad’.  Oh, Elba is still going to be in the movie, but he is not playing the same character that Smith portrayed in the 2016 original ‘Suicide Squad’ movie.  According to a new report from Variety, director James Gunn has decided to give Elba his own character rather than replacing Smith’s.

Gunn apparently came to this decision after weeks of discussion, and part of this was determined so that it wouldn’t feel as though the creators of the new movie were “disrespecting Smith, who helped bring this character to life for the first time, by replacing him with Elba.”  It also left the door open, should Smith decide to return as Deadshot in a future movie.  The reason he was not able to appear in ‘The Suicide Squad’ is due to scheduling conflicts.

Based on previous reports, this could mean that Elba is playing The Peacemaker, a character that was reportedly used on Gunn’s script.  Despite his moniker, The Peacemaker loves peace so much that he’d kill to achieve it.

Reportedly, Gunn wrote the role with Dave Bautista in mind, but if scheduling prevented Bautista from working on ‘The Suicide Squad’, it wouldn’t be a huge shift for Gunn to adapt the role for Elba.  They’re both characters that shoot guns, so there’s that.

Originally, it was believed that the only characters from the first movie that would be returning in Gunn’s reboot were Harley Quinn as portrayed by Margot Robbie, and Deadshot, with Elba replacing Smith.  But just this week, it has been reported that Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, and Joel Kinnaman would also be back in their respective roles as Captain Boomerang, Amanda Waller, and Rick Flag.

It was separately reported that Gunn had written in the characters Peacemaker, King Shark, Ratcatcher, and Polka-Dot Man.

It sounds as though things are rapidly changing behind-the-scenes of ‘The Suicide Squad’, so check back to see what else is modified, as production approaches.