James Gunn announces star-studded 'Suicide Squad 2' cast: Margot Robbie, John Cena, Pete Davidson, more

Casting for most major comic book movies tends to come in waves, with one or two actors announced at a time.

And that's happened, to an extent, with 2021's The Suicide Squad, the James Gunn-directed follow-up to 2016's Suicide Squad (confusing titles much?). We knew Idris Elba was stepping in (though apparently not for Will Smith as originally announced), and folks like wrestler-turned-actor John Cena, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, A Wrinkle in Time star Storm Reid, comedian Steve Algee and Doctor Who alum Peter Capaldi were likely joining the melee.

On Friday though, Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director who moves into the DC Comics Extended Universe with The Suicide Squadtook to Twitter to personally and officially round out the cast:

Among the biggest surprises: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, who was rumored to be a potential star last week, is officially on board. As are City of God breakout Alice Braga and Pitch Perfect 2 actor Flula Borg.

There are also a handful of Gunn's Guardians collaborators joining the film, including his brother Sean Gunn, Nathan Fillion (who Gunn also directed in Slither) and Michael Rooker. Not included in Gunn's post, however, is Benicio del Toro, who was reportedly in talks to play the villain.

Returning from the 2016 film are Margot Robbie (who will first reprise her role of Harley Quinn in 2020's Birds of Prey), Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis.

Noticeably absent, of course, is Jared Leto, who played The Joker in Suicide Squad and very memorably taunted his costars with wackadoo behind-the-scenes pranks and tactics.

Could all the buzz Joaquin Phoenix has accumulated for the role in the upcoming film Joker mean he's taken over that banner in the DCEU? It's also been pointed out in recent months that there's likely bad blood between Gunn and Leto after some jabs were made on social media.

Production is expected to begin on The Suicide Squad this month in Atlanta.

The Suicide Squad opens August 6, 2021.

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