Idris Elba will play a new character in the 'Suicide Squad' sequel, rather than replacing Will Smith as Deadshot.

The 46-year-old actor was previously believed to have signed on to the sequel of the 2016 DC ensemble movie as the gunslinging adversary of Batman after Will Smith exited the project in February.

But according to Variety, bosses involved with the sequel, including director James Gunn, have decided to move on from the Deadshot character and axe him from the movie, with Idris instead taking on a new character.

As of the time of writing, it's not known what DC villain Idris will take on instead, but Variety claims the decision was made as bosses didn't want to disrespect Will by replacing him, as he'd helped to bring Deadshot to life on screen for the first time.

The publication also claims the decision leaves the door open for Will to return to the role in the future, since his reason for departing the franchise was simply a scheduling conflict, rather than creative differences.

Meanwhile, the likes of Margot Robbie and Jared Leto are set to reprise their roles as Harley Quinn and The Joker respectively.

James Gunn is back at the helm of the sequel flick after it was previously revealed he is writing the script.

Production on the follow-up - which has been titled 'The Suicide Squad' and is thought to be a reboot of sorts rather than a direct sequel - is planned to start later this year.

The film's release date is currently set for August 2021.