[Update: the last piece of the cast has fallen into place, with Viola Davis rumored to be attached as Amanda Waller]
The writing has been on the wall surrounding the cast of Suicide Squad, the first DC/WB film to follow Batman V Superman in expanding its shared superhero universe. Now that the rumored cast has been discussed for weeks, the studio has made it official, revealing an A-list cast, with apparently even more acclaimed talent in the running for additional roles.
Variety now reports that the cast will (mostly) resemble what has been speculated for some time. Jared Leto will play DC’s new Joker, Margot Robbie as his sidekick Harley Quinn, Will Smith as the masked assassin Deadshot, Aussie Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, newcomer Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, and Tom Hardy rounding out the squad as Rick Flagg, a character we assume may be its assigned leader.
The only surprises to come from previous rumors are Courtney (Terminator: Genisys) playing the role of George “Digger” Harkness a.k.a. Boomerang. While the actor’s Australian heritage may make him a no-brainer, prior reports implied a unique bit of re-imagining was under way, with Courtney set for Deadshot, and Will Smith bringing the boomerang-throwing villain to life. In addition, Delevingne had been rumored for a villainous role opposite the Squad; while still possible, Enchantress’ place on the comic team implies she’ll be a certified member.
In addition to that confirmed cast, the outlet also reports that the studio is still looking for its Amanda Waller, the at-times villainous government agent overseeing the Task Force X (‘Suicide Squad’) program, previously played by Angela Bassett in Green Lantern. With a core cast of villains, it’s been assumed that the movie – like the comics – would feature Waller as the primary antagonist, as the one sending the Squad to its death.
The search for heavy hitters extends to that part as well, with Oscar nominee Viola Davis (Doubt, How to Get Away With Murder) and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) being pursued, according to the outlet’s sources – alongside one more top contender.
Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple, The Butler) – currently the studio’s top choice.
Some may balk at the notion of the iconic daytime host playing a comic book role – and a villainous one, at that – but while Winfrey’s acting resume (as a character other than herself) may be short, she boasts one well-deserved Academy Award already. And if Warner Bros. is looking to make Suicide Squad a household name, attaching a star like Winfrey – or Davis for that matter – would do much of their marketing work for them.
Fans of the comics, and animated incarnations of Amanda Waller (recently seen on The CW’s Arrow) should see the appeal, since few people on Earth command the confidence and presence of Waller like Winfrey, regarded as the most influential woman in the world. It may be unlikely that Winfrey actually takes the part, but no one can claim that Warner Bros. is simply rushing a film of this scale to theaters.
WB President Greg Silverman confirmed in a statement that writer/director David Ayer (Fury) is clearly the driving creative force for the film from here on out:
“The Warner Bros. roots are deep on this one. David Ayer returns to the studio where he wrote ‘Training Day’ and brings his incredible ability to craft multidimensional villains to this iconic DC property with a cast of longtime Warner collaborators Will Smith and Tom Hardy, and other new and returning favorites: Margot, Jared, Jai and Cara. We look forward to seeing this terrific ensemble, under Ayer’s amazing guidance, give new meaning to what it means to be a villain and what it means to be a hero.”
What do you make of the official cast? Does this seem like the pairing of actors to villains that you had hoped to see? Sound off in the comments.
Suicide Squad will be in theaters on August 5, 2016.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for Suicide Squad updates, as well as TV, movie and gaming news.