The news of Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn writing and directing the Suicide Squad sequel proved to reinvigorate interest in the franchise. However, the biggest star of Suicide Squad, Will Smith, has now been confirmed in a Variety report to no longer be involved with the project.
Suicide Squad was directed by David Ayer and had received a mixed response from critics and audiences, putting plans for a sequel in doubt. Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn performance was applauded enough to be given a spin-off entitled Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn. However, sequel plans for Suicide Squad itself always seemed in jeopardy until acclaimed director James Gunn was confirmed to be taking over. Gunn's former ability to take a group of ragtag anti-hero characters and turning them into a successful franchise for Marvel Studios seemed to be the perfect fit for Suicide Squad 2, titled The Suicide Squad.
While reports confirmed that Gunn's version would be a soft reboot of sorts, the biggest stars of the first film, Smith and Robbie, were assumed to be returning due to their star power alone. It seems now, however, that Smith has dropped out of the project, citing the infamous scheduling conflict as the reason. While Warner Bros. maintains that they had no hard feelings, it's not difficult to wonder the fate of the film now that its, arguably, biggest star has exited the film. Will Smith will be seen later this year as the Genie in the live-action adaptation of Disney's classic Aladdin. Beyond that the actor has a pretty packed schedule, recently confirming the long-awaited Bad Boys sequel, entitled Bad Boys For Life, as well as the sequel to the Netflix hit Bright.
The Suicide Squad is set to be James Gunn's return to the spotlight after being let go by Marvel Studios for inappropriate tweets sent years before that did not suit the company's family-friendly sensibilities. Gunn, who is usually very active on social media, has been silent since the incident, most likely hoping for The Suicide Squad to be his glorious return. There is currently no official information about Gunn's plans for the story of the new film, nor how his involvement will affect the cast and characters. It's possible that Gunn will introduce new characters to the franchise, thereby necessitating new actors for those roles. Even Robbie's involvement with the sequel has yet to be confirmed, given her busy schedule, not just as an actor but a successful producer as well.
The Suicide Squad is set to be released in August 2021.