Suicide Squad Movie News Update: Tom Hardy Out, Joel Edgerton In? Plus: Deathstroke, and Batman! | Fanboys Anonymous
Another day, another week, another round of Suicide Squad news. After a whirlwind announcement of the film and then the cast, the film-in-development has seen some shakeups and some tantalizing pieces of plot and character information come to light—including news of other DC Comics characters that might show up, and what that means moving forward.

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Let's get started. To begin with, Tom Hardy, who was slated to play Rick Flag, has left the project. Flag works for the government as the operational leader of the group, and rumor has it that Hardy left after changes were made to his character. (More on that later.) Jake Gyllenhaal was approached to take over the character but had to turn it down because of other commitments. Now it's reported that Joel Edgerton and Jon Bernthal have been approached to take the role. Edgerton has good experience with gritty action pieces, but Bernthal worked with Suicide Squad director David Ayer on his last film, Fury.

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The General (after whatever turned him
into this) and Amanda Waller face off. 
Luckily, the rest of the cast is unchanged, and we may have two new faces to add. Gary Sinise is rumored to be in talks to play General Wade Eiling, a.k.a. The General, who (in the comics, at least) becomes a villain after some questionable military experiments and activities. Another villain may be added by Joe Manganiello, who supposedly will play—drum roll!—Deathstroke, a major villain in the DCU. A master assassin, mercenary, and expert fighter possessed of a healing factor, Deathstroke is a bounty hunter who has come into conflict with several major DC heroes, notably Batman.

Suicide Squad members are generally villains of some notoriety, specific to a DC hero. Both characters, The General and Deathstroke, began as antagonists for specific characters or groups, becoming bigger threats after time, and to more heroes.

The idea that DC is taking a kind of villains-first approach to their world-building has some merit. Deathstroke alone is involved in a number of comic storylines that, if adapted, could certainly rival if not exceed the awesome scope of Marvel's event films.

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Deathstroke, as he appears in the Arkham Origins video game.
Of course, with the inclusion of Deathstroke, one notices that a number of Gotham-centric villains are on the Suicide Squad. In addition to the master assassin, I've mentioned before that Deadshot and Harley Quinn both have roots in Gotham, and no villain is more iconic to Gotham City than the Joker, also featured in the film. I speculated too that Batman may appear to some degree, and new rumors seem to lend credence to this idea. Before we get into that, though, Latino Review talked to two inside sources who reported on plot points in the film…

…so naturally, SPOILERS ABOUND. Skip down farther if you don't want to know.

I'm paraphrasing what their sources reported, but it's pretty interesting and seems to be the set up for the film. At the start, Deadshot and Harley Quinn (Will Smith and Margot Robbie) are captured and brought before Amanda Waller, head of the Suicide Squad. Deadshot was tasked with assassinating an Arkham inmate, and Harley apparently was trying to free the Joker (Jared Leto). While the Joker is featured in the film as a central character, he is said to be imprisoned, Hannibal Lecter-style, for much of the movie.

Implanted with explosive devices to ensure obedience, the two are made to join the Squad. Boomerang (Jai Courtney) is already on it, and has some beef with Deadshot, who killed his father. They're all sent on a mission to retrieve a package meant for Lex Luthor, which turns out to be a woman named June (Cara Delevigne) with magical abilities. Luthor and Waller are collecting super-people, basically, and she is powerful.

The Squad takes her back to an "underground prison" where apparently many villains are housed, including a few who might be recognizable in future franchises. Not much of the film is revealed beyond that opening act or two, save for mention of a riot at the prison toward the end of the film, during which the Joker escapes, killing several people.

This is where the newest Batman rumor comes in. It's said that the Dark Knight will cameo at the end of Suicide Squad, investigating Joker's escape. Further rumors state that the Joker has already killed James Gordon in this version of the DCU, and Gotham's police commissioner for future movies will be Ellen Yindel. She's a character derived from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, upon which Batman v Superman is partially based.

Like we've said, Suicide Squad is becoming a very important movie for WB/DC, their second offering in their DC Cinematic Universe and one that does not star any of their established superheroes. It's a gamble, but right now it looks like a very impressive one. What do you think of…well, all of this stuff? Lots to process. Take your time and leave your thoughts below!

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