James Gunn’s not-a-reboot-but-not-really-a-sequel-either Suicide Squad movie is filming in Panama, which means set photos are emerging that show characters old and new suited up for their do-over. There are blurry shots of Margot Robbie sporting a new look as Harley Quinn, and she is joined by David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher, Steve Agee in a mo-cap get-up for King Shark, and Idris Elba suited up as a mysterious character. (Not pictured: Taika Waititi.) Do these characters seem random and silly? Yes, of course they do. Gunn obviously dug into the DC archives and pulled some of the wackier villains out of the database. He has also moved away from Harley Quinn’s pink and blue aesthetic, to a black and red look that takes cues from Harley’s classic animated costume. I don’t hate it, especially as the bold red of Harley’s dress stands out sharply against the drabber costumes surrounding her. The way Robbie plays Harley, she should always be the brightest, most vibrant thing on screen.
Elba’s costume is a bit of a head-scratcher, though. No one knows who he is playing. He was originally going to replace Will Smith as Deadshot, but then Smith apparently had a change of heart and though he won’t appear in this movie, he decided to hang onto the character. Elba was then re-cast as a new, unnamed character. Rumors are swirling that he is playing some version of Vigilante, an anti-hero identity taken up by many characters over the years, but Vigilante seems sort of plain for an actor of Elba’s caliber. Let’s put it this way—the most popular version of Vigilante is Adrian Chase, and Adrian Chase was a villain on Arrow, and that felt like the right fit for the character. Being played by Idris Elba in a feature film feels a little grand for Adrian Chase. My money is on Elba playing Bronze Tiger, a comic book fan-favorite and a much cooler character overall. I also don’t think they’d bother keeping it a secret if Elba was playing Adrian Chase, but Bronze Tiger? People will be excited about that. It will make a cool trailer reveal, especially if, say, that trailer is revealed at Comic-Con. No one would lose their sh-t for Adrian Chase, but Comic-Con nerds would go crazy for a live-action Bronze Tiger.