In what might be the biggest compliment one can receive, Idris Elba has revealed that he agreed to star in The Suicide Squad purely because he wanted to work with direct James Gunn.
It turns out that Elba didn’t even know which character he would be playing in the film — which is a follow up to the poorly received 2016 version directed by David Ayer.
Gunn’s version of The Suicide Squad sees new and old characters join a different Task Force X; including Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, John Cena’s Peacemaker, Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, and Elba’s Robert DuBois, a.k.a. Bloodsport.
In the movie, Bloodsport is in prison for having shot Superman with a Kryptonite bullet when he is approached by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to join her task force designed to take on the supervillain Starro. Waller uses Bloodsport’s daughter’s criminal record as leverage to force him into joining the squad.
According to ScreenRant, “in the DC comics, Starro has long played a significant role. He was the very first villain the Justice League ever faced.
“Although Starro looks like a giant starfish, he is actually highly intelligent – and not from Earth. Starro belongs to an ancient race of aliens called the Star Conquerors. Their plans included using their mind control powers to conquer planets. In the comics, Starro has been able to conquer over nine galaxies by himself”.
Of course, Elba did not know any of this when he joined the cast of The Suicide Squad, especially as many assumed that Will Smith‘s character Deadsport would be reimagined for the new film.
“I signed on because I really wanted to work with James,” Elba told Esquire Middle East.
“He’s a genius, I think. I really was so touched and honoured that someone of his talent was really keen to work with me, even though we didn’t have a necessary roadmap of who the character was. I very quickly invested in the exploration of that, because we could go anywhere.”
Gunn, who received critical acclaim for directing films in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, was also unsure of who Elba would play as he was determined to mine the DC Universe for a character that casual fans might not know.
This would enable the director and actor to really make the character their own, with Elba assuring fans that Bloodsport was never intended as a replacement for Smith’s character in the first movie.
Joining Elba in The Suicide Squad are fellow newcomers John Cena as Peacemaker, comedian Pete Davidson as Blackguard and Sylvester Stallone as the voice of King Shark.
Meanwhile, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag are back for more antics along with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
The Suicide Squad will be Hoyts cinemas from August 5, 2021.