It's not easy building a cinematic universe. Next month, Warner Bros will release the next chapter in their growing cinematic universe with Suicide Squad and audiences are still trying figure out what to expect from the new film.
Entertainment Weekly has released an onslaught of info on the upcoming movie that will showcase the villainous side of the DC Extended Universe. However, one of the movie's biggest gets and question marks since his casting was announced is Will Smith. The mega-star is not the box-office draw that he once was, but is still by far the largest reason your mother has to go check out Suicide Squad.
In a recent interview with EW, the actor explained some of the trepidation that he felt about taking on the role.
“I had never played a character that legitimately didn’t give a f—,” says Smith of the nihilist assassin he portrays in the movie. “It’s very freeing not having to carry the moral spine of the movie...I couldn’t find a model to understand what would make someone comfortable killing another person for money. David walked me through that. He found a book for me (The Anatomy of Motive by John Douglas), and I worked through getting into the mind of serial killers. Once I accepted the [notion the author puts forth] that it feels good, that really exploded the idea in my mind of Deadshot.”
This is a big leap for Smith, who up until this point has primarily, if not solely, played heroic crusaders. Deadshot, however, is one of the deadliest and most accurate marksmen in the entire DC Comics catalogue. Smith's apprehension to taking on the role is understandable, as even among fanboys the actor wasn't associated with the character. But once the news was announced it made a world of sense.
Every hero and villain has a weakness, their own personal kryptonite. However, Deadshot doesn't actually have any powers beyond his expert marksmanship. So Ayer and Smith had to develop his vulnerability that made sense both with the history of the comics and narratively within the film. Smith spoke about this, revealing
“His Achilles heel is his daughter...He loves this little girl and that creates this bizarre conflicting mindset where he enjoys killing people but that’s something this little girl doesn’t want from him. She wants a daddy.”
We have seen set images of Smith acting with his on-screen daughter and this is an element that is certainly present in the comics. So this paternal angle isn't too unexpected, but what isn't as certain is exactly how Smith will portray the character. David Ayer decided to pitch in and share his experience working with the actor and his performance as the comic book character.
“I’m so proud of what he did in this. I think that’s going to be one of the surprises [of the movie.] It feels like he found something new. He found a different gear in this.”
This should be music to the ears of both long-time Smith fans and the skeptics who felt Smith had become a one-note performer. It could be that Smith has found another side of his personality, just in time to join the expanding DCEU. The world will find out next month.
Suicide Squad opens on August 5th, 2016.
What do you think of Will Smith as Deadshot? Let me know below!