Tom Hardy Out, Jake Gyllenhaal In? Is ‘Suicide Squad’ In Trouble Before It Starts?

Warner Bros. Suicide Squad is going to have to undergo a bit of retooling, apparently, even after the studio went all out to get the cast of its dreams. It looks like Tom Hardy will not be playing Rick Flagg when Suicide Squad hits theaters next year, but rest assured that the “Dirty Dozen with Supervillains” flick will go on.

The news comes by way of the Hollywood Reporter, which cites exclusive sources in saying that Hardy and the rest of the Suicide Squad will be parting ways even before they come together. Hardy was expected to play Rick Flagg, leader of a group of villains including Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, and Cara Delevigne as Enchantress. Somewhere along the line, the Suicide Squad would also interact with Jared Leto as classic Batman villain, the Joker. Viola Davis is reportedly set to take on the role of Amanda Waller, the hard dealing schemer who brings the Suicide Squad together.

But it’s not to be, according to THR. Hardy is dropping out of Suicide Squad due to scheduling conflicts. Hardy is currently shooting The Revenant, a frontier drama from Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. That production is apparently running long, and it may overrun the beginning of Suicide Squad’s mid-April shooting schedule. On top of that, Hardy has press commitments for Mad Max: Fury Road that will take him around the world while Suicide Squad is supposed to be filming.

What’s Warner Bros. to do? Well, THR says that the plan now is to swap in Jake Gyllenhaal to take Hardy’s place in the Squad. Gyllenhaal has been generating quite a bit of buzz following his performance in Nightcrawler, and he could likely parlay that into a successful turn in a superhero film.

Suicide Squad will likely set up the second half of the DC Cinematic Universe, the half with all the villains. Batman v Superman is scheduled to open next year as well, and it will introduce much of the Justice League, as well as some of DC’s villains. Warner Bros., though, is no doubt making a big bet on Suicide Squad, as it lined up top level names to fill out its team of rogues.

In terms of feel, the movie has, of course, been described as “‘Dirty Dozen’ with Supervillains,” but recent leaks have indicated that Warner Bros. wants Suicide Squad to have a certain kinetic energy to it. One person who claims to have sat in on a focus test group for the production says that Warner Bros. wants Suicide Squad to have the “blend of action with a time sensitive conflict” that audiences would best know from Speed.

[Lead image via MoviePilot]

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