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James Gunn's 'The Suicide Squad' Casts 'Ant-Man' Actor David Dastmalchian (Exclusive)

He's going to play the Polka-Dot Man! Wait, who's the Polka-Dot Man?
David Dastmalchian   |   Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
He's going to play the Polka-Dot Man! Wait, who's the Polka-Dot Man?

Ant-Man actor David Dastmalchian is headed over to the DC universe.

Dastmalchian has closed a deal to star in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, with sources saying he will play the comic book villain Polka-Dot Man.

The actor now joins Margot Robbie, who is returning as villain turned sometime heroine Harley Quinn; Jai Courtney, back as Captain Boomerang; and Idris Elba, who was initially set to take on the role of Deadshot before a script change saw it evolve into a new, undisclosed part.

Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker Gunn is writing and directing The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. The pic follows David Ayer's 2016 film Suicide Squad, but rather than a straight sequel, the project is described as a new take on the property from the mind of Gunn that will feature a mix of new and old characters.

Plot details are being kept secret, but the new characters include DC villains such as Ratcatcher (she controls rats), Peacemaker (he loves peace so much he will kill for it), King Shark (would you believe us if we told you it's a humanoid shark?) and last, but certainly not least, Polka-Dot Man.

Polka-Dot Man debuted in 1962's Detective Comics No. 300. Abner Krill was a low-level crook who tried to make a name for himself with spot-themed crimes and a costume that included some amazing gimmicks, such as spots that transformed into buzzsaws and flying saucers on command. Gunn has shown an affinity for pretty obscure comic characters — Polka-Dot Man has appeared less than a dozen times since his creation — and the character is said to lean into his embarrassment of his "lame" abilities.

The Suicide Squad role marks a leveling up of sorts for Dastmalchian's film career. The actor has appeared in a number of blockbuster movies in character actor roles, but this part is expected to be more substantial. He may be best known for playing the ex-convict Kurt in Marvel Studios' Ant-Man films and frequently collaborates with director Denis Villeneuve, having appeared in the filmmaker's Prisoners and Blade Runner 2049. He will also play Piter De Vries in Dune, Villeneuve's upcoming big-budget adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel that the director is making for Legendary.

Dastmalchian is also set to star in Hulu's Reprisal from The Handmaid's Tale producer Warren Littlefield and A&E Studios. The revenge drama, written by Josh Corbin, will see Dastmalchian play Johnson, the enigmatic longtime member of the Three River Phoenixes gang. Dastmalchian will next be seen in theaters in All Creatures Here Below, a drama he penned and in which he stars opposite Guardians of the Galaxy's Karen Gillan. It is set to hit select theaters May 17.

Dastmalchian has already stepped into the world of DC before. His first-ever film role was in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008), in which he played Joker henchman Thomas Schiff, a part that saw him learn how to use a prop rifle from fellow actor Heath Ledger and share a memorable scene with Christian Bale's Batman. In 2017, Dastmalchian starred in an episode of The CW's The Flash as villain Abra Kadabra, and he also appeared in episodes of Fox's Batman prequel Gotham.

Dastmalchian is repped by attorney Duncan Hedges at Hansen, Jacobson Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.

The Suicide Squad is set to open Aug. 5, 2021.

— Graeme McMillan contributed to this story. 

A previous version of this story misspelled the surname of Denis Villeneuve.

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