11:32am PT by Borys Kit
Tom Hardy Drops Out of 'Suicide Squad' (Exclusive)
The Squad has a man down.
Tom Hardy has dropped out of Suicide Squad, Warner Bros.’ all-star comic book movie being directed by David Ayer. Not losing a beat, the studio has made overtures to Jake Gyllenhaal, who has generated heat for his performance in Nightcrawler, to replace Hardy
Based on DC Entertainment’s villains-forced-to-be-heroes characters, the cast boasts a nefarious lineup that includes Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, along with Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne.
Hardy was to have played Rick Flagg, the leader of the group that consists of Batman villains Deadshot (Smith), Joker (Leto) and Harley Quinn (Robbie), plus Boomerang (Courtney) and Enchantress (Delevingne).
Hardy’s exit is due to scheduling, according to sources. The actor is currently shooting The Revenant, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s frontier drama that also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, and that shoot is now looking to go longer than initially planned.
Hardy is also starring in Mad Max: Fury Road for Warners, which opens May 15, smack in the middle of Suicide filming. Suicide is due to begin shooting mid-April in Toronto, but Hardy will have press commitments for Fury Road that will take him around the world.
Gyllenhaal has an offer to replace Hardy but it's unclear whether or not the actor will take it on. Gyllenhaal, who worked with Ayer on the acclaimed police thriller End of Watch, is currently on Broadway for his play Constellations. The play runs until mid-March. It's unknown whether that gives the actor enough prep time or down time for a prolonged shoot.
Suicide has an Aug. 5, 2016, release date.