‘Suicide Squad’: Joel Kinnaman in early talks to replace Tom Hardy

Feb. 13, 2015 | 12:34 p.m.

Joel Kinnaman is in early talks to replace Tom Hardy in “Suicide Squad,” director David Ayer’s upcoming film based on the DC Comics title about a group of villains who act as mercenaries, Hero Complex has confirmed.

Hardy, who brought to the screen the Batman villain Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” had been set to star as Rick Flagg, but scheduling commitments forced him to leave the film, which is set for release Aug. 5, 2016.

Joel Kinnaman

David Ayer, who most recently helmed the Brad Pitt World War II tank drama “Fury,” will write and direct “Suicide Squad.” The ensemble cast includes Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Jai Courtney as Boomerang and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress.

Oscar winner Leto will be the first actor to play the Joker on the big screen since Heath Ledger delivered his touchstone performance in the 2008 Batman film “The Dark Knight,” for which he was awarded a posthumous Academy Award for supporting actor.

Judging from Ayer’s previous work (he wrote “The Fast and the Furious” and “Training Day” and directed “End of Watch”), the movie could have a particularly gritty sensibility, which might work well for a story about a team of supervillains.

Swedish actor Kinnaman, once best known to American audiences as twitchy Det. Stephen Holder in the TV crime drama “The Killing,” starred in the recent remake of “Robocop,” as Detroit policeman Alex Murphy, a husband and father who finds himself transformed into a cybernetic law enforcement machine after nearly being killed in an explosion.

Kinnaman has worked steadily since the release of that film, and currently has roles in three movies set for release this year, including Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups,” the Lionsgate drama “Child 44” (featuring Hardy) and Warner Bros.’ Liam Neeson action film, “Run All Night.”

Hardy is currently in production on “The Revenant,” director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated “Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).” He will be seen on the big screen next in George Miller’s anticipated adventure “Max Max: Fury Road,” which races into theaters May 15.

— Gina McIntyre | @LATherocomplex

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