‘SUICIDE SQUAD 2’ TO REGROUP WITHOUT WILL SMITH

Having played Deadshot in Warner Bros' 2016 antihero movie "Suicide Squad," Will Smith is not returning for 2021's follow-up "The Suicide Squad."

In this image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment, cast members, clockwise from left, Margot Robbie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joel Kinnaman, Will Smith, Jai Courtney and Karen Fukuhara appear in the film, "Suicide Squad." (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

Having played Deadshot in Warner Bros’ 2016 antihero movie “Suicide Squad,” Will Smith is not returning for 2021’s follow-up “The Suicide Squad.”

While Margot Robbie is expected to return for “The Suicide Squad,” one of her franchise co-stars is now out: Will Smith.

Robbie was widely considered the only surefire returnee, given her enthusiastically received portrayal of Joker sidekick Harley Quinn in the first film.

Even so, it would appear that Smith’s character Deadshot had made it into the new movie’s treatment or was under consideration for inclusion.

That’s because Variety is citing scheduling conflicts rather than any other issue as the reason for the “Fresh Prince” and “Men in Black” star’s absence.

Announced upcoming projects include a sequel to Netflix’s 2017 modern magic adventure “Bright” as well as a fourth “Bad Boys” movie with Martin Lawrence.

As a producer, Smith has also been linked to over two dozen projects in various stages of development, including “The Karate Kid 2” (son Jaden co-starred in the previous film), and a sequel to his superhero comedy “Hancock.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter at the end of January 2019, the second “Suicide Squad” movie and the franchise as a whole were being taken in “a new direction” under sequel writer and director James Gunn, “with a mostly all-new cast of characters and actors,” and could strike a goofier, more adventurous tone, being “rooted in Gunn’s vibe, as seen in the [‘Guardians of the Galaxy’] movies.”

Margot Robbie’s involvement is to be confirmed, though she is already playing a lead role in 2020 spin-off “Birds of Prey.”

Likewise, there have been no announcements regarding Jared Leto, who played the Joker character in “Suicide Squad,” but October 2019’s origin story “Joker” features Joaquin Phoenix as the title character, and Leto’s portrayal was considered much more divisive in comparison to the reception given to Robbie’s Harley Quinn.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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