Luther actor Idris Elba is currently in talks to replace Will Smith in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel, as scheduling conflicts have forced Smith to exit the project.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Elba met with Gunn last week and the meeting apparently went so well that talks with the studio have now begun in earnest. Elba was Gunn and the studio’s first and only choice to replace Smith.

Warner Bros. is so happy with The Suicide Squad and its script (written by Gunn) that the project is moving quickly towards the casting stage, although its not clear at the moment who from the first film will be returning for this sequel/reboot.

Gunn is said to be using a number of DC characters who didn’t appear in David Ayer’s 2016 film, landing the film in a grey area between a sequel and a reboot, with Deadshot, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) returning, and the other squad members remaining absent. However, a conflicting source told THR that Flagg is no longer going to be a part of the film.

The Suicide Squad is slated for release on August 6th, 2021.

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