6:30pm PT by Aaron Couch
Will Smith Not Returning for 'Suicide Squad' Sequel
Will Smith is leaving the squad.
Smith will not be returning for The Suicide Squad, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The actor played Deadshot in David Ayer's 2016 film Suicide Squad, which also introduced Margot Robbie's iteration of Harley Quinn. He was never officially signed on for the sequel, which is from writer-director James Gunn, and scheduling issues are said to be behind Smith's exit from the franchise.
The Suicide Squad is described as a new take on the property and will feature a mostly all-new cast of characters. It remains unclear who will return from the first installment, which also included characters such as the Joker, Captain Boomerang and Killer Croc. The original film saw government boss Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) forcing the villains into service, offering them lighter prison sentences in exchange for going on a dangerous (and secret) mission.
Gunn's The Suicide Squad has an Aug. 6, 2021, release date, putting it almost exactly seven years after the director's Guardians of the Galaxy, his first foray into big-budget comic book films. Disney fired Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in July after offensive, old tweets were resurfaced by conservative personalities online. Soon after, he was swooped up by Warner Bros. for its DC universe.
Smith next appears as the Genie in Disney's live-action Aladdin, set to open May 24. Meanwhile, his Suicide Squad co-star Robbie is currently shooting the spinoff Birds of Prey, which is slated to bow Feb. 7, 2020.