In hopes of keeping up with Marvel, the folks at DC Comics have increased their efforts to release movies over the next few years. Their biggest news recently was the cast reveal for the upcoming SUICIDE SQUAD film. Apart from the name, which might strike a negative chord with a portion of the public at large, there are other causes for concern with this film. Not getting into the nerdier discussions of finding a villain viewers will root against while having to root for a group of villains, problems with the cast might overshadow all other concerns.

Will Smith as Deadshot

Though there is plenty in his body of work to indicate that Will Smith is a charismatic, talented actor, there’s very little that makes me think he’s right for the role of Deadshot. At his core, Deadshot is a heartless assassin who is boastful about never missing a shot (aside from times when he aims at Batman). His lack of a will to live, mixed with wanting to die in spectacular fashion, makes him the epitomy of what the group is all about. It sounds like a great role for someone who can portray a cold, professional killer with a hint of insanity behind an otherwise business-like demeanor. We’ve seen performances like this from Clive Owen, Gerard Butler and Josh Brolin to name a few. Will Smith’s strength lies in roles where his charisma can be on full display. A role where Will Smith has no reason to smile or laugh is a recipe for disaster, especially given the Django fiasco.

Oh, you hadn’t heard about that? Will Smith was originally slated to portray Django in Quentin Tarantino’s revenge-fueled western, but he has admitted to turning it down after determining that Django was going to be sharing too much of the limelight. With all of the characters in SUICIDE SQUAD, if Will Smith makes another adamant demand like “I need to be the lead“, the film’s not going to be as successful as it could be.

Jared Leto as The Joker


The problem here isn’t about whether or not the very talented Jared Leto can fill the purple and green shoes of the uber-iconic villain, but it’s all about viewer expectations. The role of The Joker should not be a major one. In fact, it should be just a little more prominent than a cameo appearance. Signing Jared Leto as the character should help weave him into the fabric of the overall cinematic Justice League universe that DC Comics is building. He’s not a member of the Suicide Squad, and his link to them is through his sidekick / girlfriend Harley Quinn. One of two things is going to happen:

1 – Viewers unfamiliar with the group are going to go into the film thinking that Jared Leto as The Joker is going to be a huge part of the film, and although his actions might have significant impacts, and the performance might be great, he very likely won’t have many scenes.

2 – The SUICIDE SQUAD writers will shoehorn The Joker into having a much larger role than he should with the group, he’ll overshadow other important parts of the group dynamic, and it’ll throw the project into a tailspin. Harley Quinn is supposed to be a partially likable character (or at least sympathetic). The Joker is an enjoyable character, but not someone we’re supposed to root for, and if he gets put into that position, it will derail any involvement he might have in future Justice League related films.

That doesn’t even begin to mention the fact that Jared Leto has the tough task of matching (or surpassing) the performances of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn


This is the first time that the psychiatrist-turned-doting-sidekick Harley Quinn character has made it to the big screen, and an actress with only two major film credits on her resume will be filling the role? I’m not qualified to say whether or not Margot will be up to the task, but I’ve yet to see any display of acting range that would let me know she’s up for a considerably tough task. Harley Quinn has the potential to be an iconic character to the masses who aren’t familiar with her portrayal in the comics, the animated series or the Arkham video games. This is a huge opportunity, though I will say that I’m more optimistic about this casting than if a more well-known actress had been cast.

Tom Hardy as Rick Flag

The only cause to be concerned over Tom Hardy’s involvement is from people who are going to complain that this is his second foray into the DC Cinematic Universe. His portrayal of Bane in Dark Knight Rises hardly counts, though, as he was wearing a mask, had an accent which probably won’t sound anything similar to Rick Flag, and most importantly, Dark Knight Rises isn’t in the same “unverise” as the Justice League films. Hardy’s acting ability is as good or better than his peers, so the only reason to dislike this casting is because it precludes Tom Hardy from being cast in another role in the Justice League universe.

The Oprah Rumor

The straw that stirs the drink of the Suicide Squad is a character named Amanda Waller, and rumors are circulating that Oprah Winfrey is being sought for this role. Sure, Oprah is a good actress, but her involvement could considerably impact the entire Justice League… and not in a good way. Oprah would bring a considerable salary with her, and this isn’t the type of project that someone would take a discount on, just for the sake of being a part of it. That could cause other roles to be budgeted less than they might be otherwise. And while Oprah’s involvement in something typically gives it a boost in popularity, are those the viewers DC and Warner Bros are seeking? If the plot for Suicide Squad or any other films involving Amanda Waller are tweaked because they’re worried about the response from Oprah’s followers, that’s not a good thing.

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