RoboCop Star Joel Kinnaman to Replace Tom Hardy in DC’s Suicide Squad

By  · Published on February 13th, 2015

Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

I figured the Suicide Squad movie couldn’t be too star-studded. It’s already got Will Smith and Jared Leto among the primary ensemble of teamed-up supervillains, and while Tom Hardy isn’t a huge star he was already making the thing seem too prestigious for what it is.

After he left for scheduling reasons, we heard that Jake Gyllenhaal was offered the vacant role of Rick Flagg, but the Nightcrawler actor passed. Now The Wrap is reporting that the DC Comics character will be portrayed by Joel Kinnaman, hardly a big name but one who could potentially get bigger through this gig. Flagg, for those who aren’t familiar, is the leader of the Squad.

So far American moviegoers only really know Kinnaman from the RoboCop remake last year, and especially underneath his cyborg suit he didn’t make a huge impression there. He’s also been starring on the AMC series The Killing for years, and I can’t say I’ve heard much about him from that. But he’s on the rise.

This year alone he’ll show up in Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups and opposite Hardy in Child 44, and he’s playing Liam Neeson’s son in Run All Night. That’s how you start. Just look at fellow Suicide Squad member Jai Courtney, whose breakout was playing Bruce Willis’s son in A Good Day to Die Hard.

I don’t think Kinnaman is necessarily a bad actor. He’s just not very familiar as of yet. Maybe he’s a little bland for full-on movie star material. He’s no Will Smith, who remains the greatest marquee asset for thid comic book adaptation. Of the real people, that is. The Joker or Lex Luthor or maybe Batman, even if it’s just a cameo, is the main draw.

Also on board Suicide Squad are my main draw, Margot Robbie, and Cara Delevingne with Viola Davis still unconfirmed but expected to be the team’s non-field leader, Amanda Waller. The movie hits cinemas on August 5, 2016, five months after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice returns us to this DC Cinematic Universe.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.