The comic created by John Ostrander centers on incarcerated villains from the DC universe being recruited as deniable assets by the Government to go on high-risk black ops missions in exchange for more lenient or even commuted sentences. Amanda Waller ("The Help" and "How to Get Away with Murder" star Viola Davis) a prison warden and government agent is in charge of the program.
Davis beat out both Oprah Winfrey and Octavia Spencer for the Waller role.
Oscar winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) is playing the role of The Joker--Ryan Gosling was originally up for the role, but he was "unwilling to sign a deal with options for multiple movies" Joker was last portrayed by the late Heath Ledger who gave an Academy Award-winning performance in The Dark Knight. Leto was also in the running to play the lead in Marvel's long gestating Doctor Strange movie--a role that Sherlock and "Star Trek Into Darkness" star Benedict Cumberbatch now has.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" actress Margot Robbie will play Harley Quinn In the DC mythology Quinn is sidekick to The Clown Prince Of Crime.Robbie has been on the radar to take a role in the film shortly after the project was announced. The Quinn character was not in the early drafts of the script.
British model and actress Cara Delevingne was circling the role as well--but instead she will play
a sorceress named Enchantress.
Will Smith is tipped to play Floyd Lawton, aka. the assassin Deadshot. Australian actor Jai Courtney ("A Good Day To Die Hard," "Divergent") lands the role of Digger Harkness a.k.a. Captain Boomerang.
Joel Kinnaman ("Robocop," "The Killing") is in talks to replace Tom Hardy as Rick Flag. Hardy vacated the role due to scheduling issues with "The Revenant" and press commitments for "Mad Max: Fury Road". Neither Warners or Kinnaman's reps have confirmed the casting. Hardy and Kinnaman star in this Spring's thriller "Child 44"
Karl Urban, former "The Walking Dead" co-star Jon Bernthal and Joel Edgerton ("The Great Gatsby") were in the running to play the role after Jake Gyllenhaal passed on replacing Hardy as team leader Flagg. Bernthal previously worked with Ayer on "Fury" and was originally suggested for the role last year before Hardy was cast.
Jay Hernandez ("Gang Related," "Hostel") is in talks for an unspecified and mysterious role in the pic-- El Mayimbe says he has some fresh news Hernandez's role in the film--it sounds as if he'll make a small cameo as Chato Santana, a.k.a. El Diablo. The character is said to be a prisoner held in the super powered criminal part of the prison alongside other DC villains.
Meanwhile, Smith talked about playing the assassin Deadshot in the movie and says he plans to bring fans the best version of the character in history. He tells MTV:
"With this character and the DC world, I love that I'm getting the opportunity for the global definition of Deadshot. There's been Deadshot in little appearances here and there, there's an idea, but Deadshot isn't defined, really. I get to be a part of the creation that will be the biggest historical image of Deadshot."
Leto told Billboard that he's currently trying to gain weight to play his role of The Joker in the movie. Leto says that the depth of the character is what made him sign on:
"The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character - that's what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right? [He's] this beautiful disaster of a character - what a big challenge."
Speaking about taking on the role of Waller, Davis tells THR:
"As a comic book and Wonder Woman fan, I love the whole DC Comics universe. I traded comics as a kid so all of that appeals to me. When you dream about being an actor as a kid, that's what you dream about. It's like play acting: being the superhero, getting the gun; it plays into that fantasy. How to Get Away with Murder changed my exposure. I don't know if it changed the quality of roles as much as it the exposure. I mean certainly Amanda Waller is a fabulous character."
Lastly--a few hours ago Ayer described Leto's take on The Joker in the film as "majestic" along with posting a picture via Twitter of the film's sets going up.
Sets are going up #skwad pic.twitter.com/yZ28VTjcwL
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) February 28, 2015
Sources say Ed Harris and Max Martini ("Pacific Rim") are under consideration to play the father of Rick Flag,
There is noise that The Thinker will also be in the film and Geoffrey Rush has already apparently passed on the role. On top of that, Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) joins Joe Manganiello (“True Blood,” Magic Mike Xxl) as a potential candidate for the role of Deathstroke- a hired assassin competing with the Suicide Squad in the movie.
Ayer performed re-writes of an initial script by Justin Marks.
Dan Lin is producing the pic with Charles Roven.
Production will take place at Pinewood Toronto Studios from mid-April to September of this year. The film has an August 5th 2016 release date planned