David Ayer's Suicide Squad is set to be the immediate follow up to Warner Bros. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and apparently the studio means to make a big impression. After months of negotiations and casting rumors, Deadline confirmed today that Jared Leto, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Carla Delevigne have joined the cast of the August 5, 2016 film. Warner Bros., who cast Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, seem intent on bringing star power to their line of DC Comics films.
DC's Suicide Squad has been through several comic book iterations over the years, but they are most commonly a group of criminals used as a strike team by Amanda Waller, head of the U.S. Government agency known as A.R.G.U.S. The team is typically put in no-win situations and left on their own to be disavowed if caught. There's been no actress cast as Waller in the film as yet, but Variety reports that Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are circling the role with Winfrey the front-runner.
Oscar-winner Leto will join the cast as Batman's long-time arch-enemy, the Joker, taking a turn in a role previously filled by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton's Batman and Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, a role for which he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in 2008. Leto had recently been rumored to be in the running for Marvel Studio's Doctor Strange film before joining up for Ayer's Suicide Squad. It's assumed that Leto will have a beefy role in the film, however, the Joker has no history as a member of the team so it's possible that the Joker may, in fact, be the film's antagonist. His long-time lover, Harley Quinn, has, however, appeared in the last two comic teams.
Speaking of the huge fanboy favorite, Margot Robbie will portray the psychotic Quinn who has only joined the Squad in the more recent versions of the team. While Quinn isn't going to be one of the high-profile team leaders (see below) her role is sure to draw as much, if not more, interest and attention than any. Quinn's popularity has been on the rise in recent years and she recently had her own solo comic series which debuted to high praise. Robbie's most well-known for her role in The Wolf of Wall Street and landed the role of Jane in the upcoming Tarzan reboot, so her star is definitely on the rise. This looks like a GREAT addition to Ayer's film.
Smith will portray Deadshot, aka Floyd Lawton, a merc-assassin with a reputation for never missing his target. Lawton, a man of his word who always completes his missions, serves as the straight man of the team of criminals with no regard for his own life (in fact, Lawton welcomes his own death as long as he goes out big, in a blaze of glory). This is an interesting role for Smith who turned down the role in Django Unchained because of the film's violence and language.
Hardy joins the film as Rick Flag, a government employee under Waller who serves as team leader of the Squad. While it's not mentioned in the report, I'd imagine one of the reasons Warner Bros. cast 2 such strong leads as Smith and Hardy is to help bring their strained comic book relationship to life on screen. Despite being the team's leader, Flag has long-standing mental issues that seem to be amplified by the time spent working with criminals.
Jai Courtney (Divergent) will play one of two DC Comics characters who have carried the name of Captain Boomerang. As you can deduce, Courtney's character will use an assortment of boomerangs as weapons (think Green Arrow's quiver, except full of "trick" boomerangs). The original Captain was named George Harkness. Before his death, Harkness passed on the name to his son Owen Mercer and trained him in the ancient ways of boomerang weaponization. Mercer has also shown an ability to use the Speed Force (the thing that makes the Flash so fast) from time to time, though it's not clear if this movie version will have any meta-abilities.
British model/actress Cara Delevingne will be the team's mystical baddie, June Moone, aka the Enchantress. The Enchantress is an extremely powerful sorceress whose motives are never clear and who is typically not trusted by her own team. Delevingne is a relative up-and-comer whose work I am unfamiliar with, but she certainly looks the part.
Ayer's film is scheduled to start production this coming April in Toronto ahead of its August 2016 release.