Checking the gate: Tom Hardy leaves “Suicide Squad”

TOM-HARDY-325By Craig Martin

In rather unexpected news, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Tom Hardy has abandoned Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s highly-anticipated “Suicide Squad” movie, in which he would have portrayed the team’s leader, General Rick Flagg. According to the report, it was the English actor’s filming commitment to “The Revenant,” an upcoming period piece by “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu. The film, according to Hardy, is “going over schedule.” Hardy also claims to be very busy with his upcoming promotional duties for “Mad Max: Fury Road” which forced him to exit the 2016 DC Comics adaptation. While this news might seem sudden, it appears that David Ayer is already courting Hardy’s replacement.

The rumored replacement is Jake Gyllenhaal, who Ayer had directed in 2012’s “End of Watch” and is now apparently being offered the Rick Flagg role. Praised most recently for his role in “Nightwatcher,” Gyllenhaal has very recently expressed interest in jumping on the superhero bandwagon. Long before this, he made the shortlist for Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” which eventually went to Benedict Cumberbatch, Gyllenhaal also almost replaced Tobey Maguire in “Spider-Man 2,” and he even auditioned for the Caped Crusader in “Batman Begins.” So, if his schedule allows him to, there’s a great chance he’ll accept Warner Bros. “Suicide Squad” offer.

However, Latino-Review, a well-respected superhero movie news site, claimed to have learned the real reason why “The Dark Knight Rises” star won’t be taking on another DC Comics role (at least not with this release, anyway).

Apparently, Hardy just wasn’t a fan of the script and left the project under amicable terms (which is why the scheduling conflict excuse was used as a cover story). Why didn’t he like it? It could be for any number of reasons, but the site goes on to add that the latest draft is rumoured to have beefed up the screen time of Deadshot (Will Smith) and The Joker (Jared Leto) at the expense of characters like Hardy’s Flagg. Given the status of Smith and the popularity of The Joker, that makes sense.

If this is the case, one has to ask if this will put Gyllenhaal off from enlisting in the “Suicide Squad.” We’ll have to wait and see.

The David Ayer helmed “Suicide Squad” stars Will Smith (Deadshot), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Jared Leto (The Joker), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), with Cara Delevingne (Enchantress) and Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor). The film opens August 5, 2016.

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