Australian actor Jai Courtney is one of those actors that mainstream America probably couldn’t spot in a line-up, but Hollywood has a decided hard-on for the thespian. He was chosen to play Bruce Willis‘ son in “A Good Day to Die Hard,” had a key villain role in Tom Cruise’s “Jack Reacher” and had big supporting turns in “I, Frankenstein” (2014) and “Divergent.” While the verdict is still out on the 28-year-old actor, Tinseltown has doubled down on the Aussie and this year he was cast in the critical role of Kyle Reese in the “Terminator: Genisys” reboot. In short, Courtney is this year’s Sam Worthington, another Australian actor that Hollywood went ape for after his appearance in the billion-dollar-grossing “Avatar.” That fact that Courtney does not have an “Avatar” under his belt doesn’t seem to matter to casting agents, directors and producers.
Apparently he’s impressed again in auditions because the actor is now in talks to play the lead villain/anti-hero super hero of “Suicide Squad.” To be directed (and rewritten, apparently) by David Ayer (“Fury” with Brad Pitt, which came out earlier this fall), “Suicide Squad” will be essentially one of the first super villain team-up movies on screen, but it is akin to “The Dirty Dozen”; a team of gruff, unlikeable anti-heroes forced to work with each other to survive.
Courtney would play Deadshot, the defacto leader of the group and a taciturn, merciless “never miss” assassin. The “Suicide Squad” is essentially an off-the-books black ops mercenary squad only populated by super villains who have been jailed for life and have one choice: rot in jail or run covert and largely unethical missions for the government. In the comics, Deadshot has a death wish and is never afraid to volley head first into the suicide missions the team is sent on.
Margot Robbie is apparently in discussions to play the character Harlequin while Jared Leto is being eyed to play iconic Batman foe The Joker. Will Smith and Tom Hardy are apparently still in various stages of discussions to take undisclosed roles in the film, but I’m curious to see who they would play given that it seems Courtney has bagged the biggest role of the team.
Variety says, however, Will Smith may be in talks to play Digger Harkness AKA Captain Boomerang, a nemesis of the Flash. This in itself is extremely interesting casting considering the Harkness in the comics is the ultimate unscrupulous weasel who will sell out any team member to save his own skin. Reportedly, Jesse Eisenberg could reprise his “Superman V. Batman” role as Lex Luthor in the film. The crucial role of Amanda Waller — the African American government stooge who forms Task Force X AKA the Suicide Squad — has not been cast yet. “Suicide Squad” is aiming for a summer 2016 release.
Up next for Courtney, he’ll be seen in Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” in a supporting role, and it seems that fellow Aussie Russell Crowe has co-signed on him as well; he has the third starring role in the Crowe’s upcoming spring 2015 directorial effort, “The Water Diviner.” Courtney first came to notice in the U.S. for his turn on Starz’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”