Deadshot: Will Smith on Building His Suicide Squad Antihero

Will Smith talks Suicide Squad, working with David Ayer and what made him take the Deadshot role

As Warner Bros. Pictures continues to expand its big screen DC Comics universe, fans are anxiously awaiting the arrival of David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad this August. Among the stars signing on for the supervillain ensemble is Will Smith as Deadshot. Deadshot, who debuted in the comics as a Batman villain more than 65 years ago, is making his first cinematic appearance in the ensemble. That, Smith tells, is precisely what drew him to the Deadshot character.

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“It’s a character that hasn’t really been explored in cinema,” Smith explains. “I get to design it and be a part of creating the first round of Deadshot in the history of cinema… It’s a really great opportunity to work with a really great ensemble. It was perfectly cast. It’s an insane group of super actor villains.”

Deadshot isn’t Will Smith’s first comic book movie, however. The Men in Black franchise was itself based on a relatively obscure comic book series published by Aircel starting in 1980. While not based on a comic itself, Hancock nevertheless offered Smith as an original cinematic superhero. Despite having a history with comic book films, however, Smith says he grew up somewhat distanced from comics.

“As a child, my brother was really into it,” he explains. “I was sort of banned from his comic books. It was sort of sacred land. But probably in the last three or four years, I started getting into it. I started paying attention a bit more. It was a little bit of a benefit coming from the outside and getting exposed to it because I got to do a deep dive over a six or seven month period, taking them all in and reading them back to back. It felt like it gave me a little more freedom to create in my mind rather than being trapped in your childhood images.”

After Suicide Squad, Smith has plans to immediately reteam with Ayer for Bright, an End of Watch-style thriller set in a contemporary world of orcs and magic wands.

“It’s David Ayer’s tonal quality,” says Smith of what he gets from the creative partnership. “It’s how he thinks and how he moves and how he sees the world.”

It’s also Ayer that Smith trusts to find a way to balance Suicide Squad against the rapidly =0expanding big screen DCU.

“These kinds of movies are a different breed,” he says. “The huge, gigantic tentpoles that are designed to be global behemoths. I wanted to do something like that with David Ayer, who is a director that cares only about character. Every single aspect and detail of the character playing into that gigantic box for me is what makes this one really special.”

Suicide Squad also stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Jay Hernandez as El DIablo, Adam Beach as Slipknot and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. There’s also mystery roles for Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Raymond Olubowale, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack, and Common.

Are you looking forward to Will Smith’s take on Deadshot? Let us know in the comments below!