When Idris Elba was cast in The Suicide Squad, it was initially reported he was set to replace Will Smith as Deadshot. The actor's busy schedule meant he was unable to reprise his Suicide Squad role, a shame when it seemed logical that Floyd Lawton would be among the returning villains from the 2016 movie.
Of course, we'd later discover that Elba was playing Bloodsport, the criminal who shot Superman, and not Deadshot as those early stories had claimed.
The actor did a great job in the role, but pretty much everyone agreed that the two characters were indistinguishable. Elba was playing Deadshot in all but name (he even had a near-identical relationship with his daughter), and some newly revealed concept art suggests the Thor: Love and Thunder star was indeed eyed to take over as the assassin.
The character in the artwork below - shared on Beehance by David Levy - shows Deadshot in that final setpiece, and the actor playing him looks a lot more like Elba than he does Smith (unless the latter intended to grow his hair out).
Both Gunn and Elba have said it was the right decision not to recast Deadshot, giving Elba the chance to do his own thing rather than follow in the footsteps of who had come before. We're guessing it was the plan very early on that he take over from Smith, only for things to change, likely when Smith told Warner Bros. he would like to eventually reprise the role.
We may never know for sure, but it would be good to see Deadshot and Bloodsport share the screen at some point in the not-too-distant future. Now Gunn is in charge of DC Studios, we're sure there are plans for these Task Force X characters, either on the big screen, small screen, or both.
Check out The Suicide Squad concept art below and click here to see more of David's work.