Comics on Film: Will Smith's Deadshot to Star in the Next 'Batman' Movie? We Break Down the Rumor

Comics on Film: Will Smith's Deadshot to Star in the Next 'Batman' Movie? We Break Down the Rumor

Dec 11, 2015

We're now only days away from the beginning of 2016, which will definitely be an anticipated year for fans of DC Comics. 2016 will bring not just one, but two highly anticipated major motion pictures based on the concepts and characters of the fabled comics. March will obviously bring Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the first time that we'll ever get to see more than one DC Comics hero on the same screen at the same time in live-action. That film will also be leading us closer to the concept of the Justice League, DC's premiere superhero team, with the inclusion of Wonder Woman and cameos from Aquaman, the Flash, and perhaps more.

Then, in August, we'll be getting Suicide Squad, a film focused on a ragtag group of DC Comics villains who are brought together with the promise of reduced prison sentences in return for performing dangerous and deniable missions for the government. Among the cadre of characters like Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, the Enchantress, and Rick Flag will be Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot. Played by Will Smith, Deadshot is one of the Suicide Squad's heaviest hitters, and in DC mythology he's clashed with Batman on more than one occasion.

Now, there are rumblings that the first solo Batman film -- which would feature a returning Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight -- would also include Will Smith's Deadshot. You may not know this, but that's a powder keg waiting to go off.


Deadshot vs. Batman - Business on One Side, Personal on the Other

Although they largely have an ancillary connection to each other, the conflict between Batman and Deadshot is generally compelling whenever the two characters are shown facing off. Oftentimes, Deadshot is all business: he sees his unparalleled skill with firearms as his most obviously bankable character trait, and though he can relish a kill a little more than he probably should sometimes, his job is little more than just that: a job.

His skill is the thing that he holds close to himself, but even then, he has a very fatalistic personality, and has also been shown in various situations to actually welcome his own death.

While Deadshot himself is more prone to maintaining an attitude as a consummate professional, it's been shown in more than one instance that Deadshot's very existence is an affront to Batman and his mission. It's not too much of a mystery to figure out why this would be the case: Deadshot has gone out of his way to define himself as the gun for hire in the DC Universe.

As a result, Batman views Deadshot as the embodiment of "the gun" itself: the instrument that took his parents away from him, and the symbol of the crime he's devoted every fiber of his being to eliminating.

The characters are also tied together historically, as well: Deadshot made his very first comics appearance in Batman #59 from the summer of 1950, and although both characters have diverged a fair amount over the course of the intervening decades, Floyd Lawton hasn't been able to completely escape the Shadow of the Bat.

Some of the characters' most popular conflicts have been in other media, with Deadshot getting his own spectacular animated segment in 2008's Batman: Gotham Knight, as well as being a featured enemy in both 2011's Batman: Arkham City and 2013's Batman: Arkham Origins video games. Something about the two makes the pairing very natural, and it likely goes back to Batman vs. "the gun:" the very symbol of his war on crime.


So...what about these rumors?


Ben Affleck and Will Smith in a Future Batman Film?

Appearing first on Latino Review, that site's sources indicate that Will Smith has a very high degree of enthusiasm related to being a part of an ongoing superhero cinematic universe, and that the enthusiasm could extend to a potential leading role in Ben Affleck's upcoming solo Batman film. While we haven't heard a lot of concrete details surrounding what that film might be bringing to the table, it would certainly be hard to deny that the combined star power of both Affleck and Smith would likely get the attention of a lot of potential moviegoers.

While some comic book fans may be wondering why characters like these could have some kind of alliance, it's definitely worth noting that we haven't seen Suicide Squad yet. We don't know exactly what kind of arc Deadshot is slated to go through, nor do we know whether or not Batman -- who is confirmed to at least cameo in David Ayer's upcoming film -- will be interacting with members of the cast beyond Jared Leto's Joker and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.

It's also worth mentioning that rumors about the DC Extended Universe's Batman are flying all over the place, and they're not likely to calm down even a little bit until after the March 25th release date of Batman v Superman. People are claiming that Judd Winick's 2005 comic book arc Under the Hood will be the basis for the film, while some are even claiming that Bruce Wayne won't even be Batman. Even then, we'll have to wait until we get a good look at Suicide Squad in August before we can even discern whether or not Batman and Deadshot will be placed on the same path.

In any event, the dawn of the new DC Comics-based film universe is getting closer and closer, and it's hard not to get excited about the possibilities that these and other forthcoming films can represent for the characters. A few years ago, fans would've likely scoffed at the idea of Batman and Deadshot inhabiting the same cinematic universe, let alone the same film.

It's pretty cool that we can now entertain the notion as a possibility. Now, if only we can get that Superman/Dial H for Hero team-up we all want...

Chris Clow is a geek. He is a gamer, a comic book expert and former retailer, as well as a freelance contributor to The Huffington Post and, as well as host of the Comics on Consoles podcast. You can find his weekly piece Comics on Film right here at Check out his blog, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.

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