Director James Gunn has been sharing some behind-the-scenes photos and tidbits about 2021’s The Suicide Squad on his Twitter account. They include the on-set name they used for Idris Elba’s Bloodsport and other casting information.
Gunn shared a photo of the casting board that was pinned up in his production offices, with the cast numbered in presumably what would become the call sheet order. Number one is Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and number two is Idris Elba, but it says that his character name is Vigilante. Three is John Cena’s Peacemaker, Four is Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, and Five is Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller.
When asked about the Elba character name change, Gunn said; “We didn’t reveal to anyone the character’s real name on set. So much so that even our Production Designer thought he was Vigilante until near the end of production.” Elba’s character name was Bloodsport by the time of the movie’s release. Vigilante would go on to be a character in Gunn’s HBO Max TV series spin-off Peacemaker, played by Freddie Stroma.
There is one significant actor and character missing from the casting board – Sylvester Stallone’s King Shark. Someone asked Gunn when Stallone was brought on to voice the shark-man hybrid, he replied; “Pretty late actually. I wrote it for Sly, but we actually recorded THREE other actors first and none of them quite worked before I asked Sly to do it.”
James Gunn’s 2021 version of Suicide Squad was certainly better received than David Ayer’s 2016 movie, which has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 26% and starred Jared Leto as The Joker. Gunn’s movie has a 90% positive rating. The DCEU is in disarray, which can be seen from the decision to shelve the Batgirl movie, so who knows if we’ll be seeing more from the Suicide Squad. Spin-off TV series Peacemaker is currently prepping for a second season.
Upcoming DCEU movies include The Flash, Shazam 2, Aquaman 2 (which will reportedly have a cameo from Ben Affleck’s Batman), and Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson.
While we wait to find out exactly what’s going on with WB and the DCEU, check out our guide to the best Batman actors, ranked.