UPDATE: Jake Gyllenhaal is reported to have passed on the role of Rick Flag, leaving the role vacant as the April filming start looms. Remaining frontrunners for consideration at this point are currently unknown.
Original story follows:
Bad news for DC fans; The cinematic Suicide Squad has lost one of its key members.
Tom Hardy has been forced to drop out of Suicide Squad, one of the upcoming 2016 movie offerings for Warner Bros.’ shared DC Cinematic Universe. Hardy was originally cast as Rick Flag, a squad leader and hardened military man from DC lore, though the role has now been vacated. It would have been Hardy’s second time playing a DC character, after portraying villain, Bane in 2012’s Batman trilogy finale, The Dark Knight Rises.
Hardy’s departure thankfully has nothing to do with Suicide Squad itself however, and was necessary after production on his current project, The Revenant ran over schedule. With Suicide Squad starting filming this April in Toronto, this left Hardy without the time to film DC’s movie, forcing him to bow out. It’s especially a shame when one considers the industry rumblings that Hardy turned down two offers from Marvel, the first for the role of the title villain in X-Men: Apocalypse, which went to Oscar Isaac, and the second as the title hero in Doctor Strange, which went to Benedict Cumberbatch, in order to play another role for DC.
According to TheWrap, which broke the news, Suicide Squad director, David Ayer already has a replacement actor in mind, and will be aggressively courting Jake Gyllenhaal, one of the leads from Ayer’s well-received cop drama, End of Watch, to replace Hardy as Rick Flag in time for the April shoot. Gyllenhaal hasn’t yet accepted the part, but if he does, he’ll join Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as The Joker, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, and Cara Delevigne as Enchantress.
How to Get Away With Murder’s Viola Davis also recently confirmed that she has indeed been selected to play Suicide Squad handler, Amanda Waller, though Warner Bros. hasn’t yet announced the casting, no doubt because they haven’t finished negotiating around Davis’ commitments to potential future seasons of the well-received How to Get Away with Murder. Given that Amanda Waller is such a key character in the DC Universe at large, not just for Suicide Squad, it’s inevitable that Davis will have to sign a lengthy contract for many movie appearances in the DC Cinematic Universe, something that news outlets have already confirmed, rightfully comparing the contract to Samuel L. Jackson’s landmark nine-picture deal with Marvel as S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Nick Fury. Waller is even rumoured to make a cameo before Suicide Squad, in previous DC Cinematic Universe movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Suicide Squad comes to theatres on August 5th, 2016.
We’ll be keeping our sights on Suicide Squad, so check back here for word on the movie, and who will be taking up the cinematic mantle of Rick Flag.