I can’t quite remember what movie it was, but I was in the middle of a screening at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival when I received an urgent text and hurried out of the theater to break the news that a young actress name Storm Reid had landed the lead role in Ava DuVernay‘s A Wrinkle in Time. I remember thinking that the 12 Years a Slave star had a very memorable name, and that was a good thing, as I had a feeling I’d be writing it for a very long time.
A Wrinkle in Time may not have turned out so hot, but Reid’s career couldn’t be hotter right now. She recently booked a lead role in Blumhouse’s The Invisible Man, her other Blumhouse movie, Don’t Let Go, just landed a theatrical distribution deal, and she has appeared on two of this summer’s hottest shows — HBO’s Euphoria and DuVernay’s acclaimed Netflix series When They See Us. And now the 16-year-old star has landed another high-profile project, as she has been cast as Idris Elba‘s daughter in James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad.
Reid and Elba join fellow franchise newcomers John Cena, David Dastmalchian and Daniela Melchior in the DC movie, which is bringing back Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney and Viola Davis. Plot details are being kept under wraps, as is the identity of Elba’s character.
Elba was originally cast as Deadshot, effectively replacing Will Smith, though sources say Smith was surprised and a bit disappointed that Elba neglected to reach out and get his blessing before accepting the role. After all, even someone as busy as Will Smith knows it’s always a good idea to keep the door open for a potential return. It’s hard to do that when the role has already been recast. Elba then spoke to Gunn, and the two found a new role for the Golden Globe-winning actor — one that remains a mystery. However, as you’ll recall from our exclusive about the new Suicide Squad characters, Elba-as-Deadshot was going to be positioned as a father figure to Melchior’s Ratcatcher. I wonder if Ratcatcher will no longer have/need a father figure, and those emotional beats are being transferred over to Elba’s new character.
Charles Roven (The Dark Knight) is among those producing the big-budget anti-hero movie, which is slated to start production in September in Atlanta. Warner Bros. is slated to release the movie on Aug. 6, 2021.
Reid, who also appeared in the little-seen indie gem Sleight, will shoot The Invisible Man before moving on to The Suicide Squad. She’s represented by CAA and Management 360, and TheWrap broke the news of her casting.