Tom Hardy is no longer a member of “Suicide Squad.”
The actor has dropped out of Warner Bros.’ upcoming adaptation of the DC Comics title about an all-star roster of villains who act as mercenaries.
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, sources said Thursday.
The story was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
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 super-villains.
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.
No official word yet on who will replace Hardy, though some reports have named Jake Gyllenhaal as a potential contender.
— Gina McIntyre | @LATherocomplex
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