Early concept art of The Suicide Squad reveals Deathstroke leading Team Two in place of Idris Elba's Bloodsport.
The artwork, which you can see below, features in HBO Max's featurette The Suicide Squad: The Way of the Gunn (H/T ComicBook.com). Deathstroke can be seen leading Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher 2, Peacemaker, and King Shark through the waves – a role which, in the finished film, went to Bloodsport.
Interessante! #TheSuicideSquad Em novas artes conceituais do filme, podemos ver que o Deathstroke estava sendo considerado para liderar o Esquadrão Suicida ao invés do Bloodsport. pic.twitter.com/Jib3xgKw6KAugust 10, 2021
Mild spoilers ahead! The first action sequence of The Suicide Squad sees the titular Task Force X split into two teams, with the first team attacking Corto Maltese's military head on, while the second, which would have included Deathstroke, sneaks onto the island at another location.
The DCEU's Deathstroke is played by Joe Manganiello, and so far he has only appeared in the theatrical version of Justice League and Zack Snyder's Justice League. It seems Manganiello would've been behind the orange and black mask here, as he told our sister publication SFX Magazine about his scrapped Deathstroke appearances: "There was a version of Suicide Squad 2 that got canceled."
Gunn also confirmed on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that Manganiello almost donned the armor for the new Task Force X. "I definitely considered Deathstroke, and I love Joe Manganiello as a dude. But at the end of the day, I just wasn't sure it worked for this movie. But I definitely considered Joe," the director said.
The Suicide Squad is in theaters and streaming on HBO Max now. If you're in the mood for a DCEU marathon, check out our guide to watching DC movies in order – and find the best HBO Max prices and deals right here.