The film's writer and director, James Gunn, reportedly met with Idris Elba. The meeting went so well that the actor is now in talks to replace Smith, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The publication says he is the top choice -- as well as the only choice.
Smith had to exit the project due to scheduling conflicts, per Variety, which apparently created quite the dilemma. Gunn had already written the "Suicide Squad 2" script, and while it does reportedly involve new DC characters, Smith's character, Deadshot, was expected to be among those returning.
The original film's star-studded cast included Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Elba, too, would bring star power to the series. He has been in a number of notable projects in recent years such as the Star Trek films, "Avengers: Infinity War" and other MCU flicks, and "The Jungle Book." He'll also star in the upcoming Fast & Furious spinoff, "Hobbs & Shaw," and he plays the lead character in the new Netflix series "Turn Up Charlie."
"Suicide Squad 2" is due out Aug. 6, 2021.