The Suicide Squad: Idris Elba’s Role Was So Secret, Even Some of the Crew Didn’t Know It

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The Suicide Squad director James Gunn kept Idris Elba’s Bloodsport role under wraps for quite some time.

As reported by ComicBook.com, Gunn recently participated in a Q&A on Twitter where he was asked whether he filmed any alternate scenes, especially character deaths, to prevent story details from being leaked. Gunn said they didn’t shoot any smoke screen scenes, though they did go to great lengths to keep Idris Elba’s role a secret from everyone, including the crew.

“To keep Idris Elba’s character from getting out we called him Vigilante in the script and on his chair back,” Gunn revealed. “We kept it so secret that, we were a week away from finishing shooting and the production designer, Beth Mickle, said, ‘wait, he’s not Vigilante?’ And to make it weirder, DC’s character Vigilante is one of the leads of my Peacemaker show.”

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Early reports pointed to Elba playing Deadshot, taking over the role made famous by Will Smith in the original Suicide Squad. We later learned Elba would be playing a different character, though some of that Deadshot DNA appears to have carried over to the gun-toting killer who is seemingly more sympathetic and morally grey than other Task Force X members.

In a follow-up tweet, Gunn also revealed that he maintained the element of surprise with the entire Suicide Squad cast over the course of the shoot. He explained that each actor only had script pages “up until the point their character dies,” meaning that some of the cast members are only just seeing the movie’s ending now while others still haven’t watched it yet.

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It’s unclear how many characters will make it through The Suicide Squad’s 2 hours, 12-minute runtime, as Gunn previously revealed he had been given free rein by Warner Bros. to kill off any character in the DCEU movie. “They gave me carte blanche to do what I wanted,” he said. “I wasn’t looking for shock value but I wanted the audience to know anything could happen.”

The Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters and HBO Max (for 31 days) on August 6, 2021.

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Speculation has been rife as to who will survive the movie, though Gunn admitted he doesn’t have time to tally up the results because he’s too busy writing the upcoming HBO Max spinoff series focused on John Cena’s Peacemaker, which will be produced by Gunn’s Troll Court Entertainment, and The Safran Company, in association with Warner Bros. Television.


Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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