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The first confirmed casting for Suicide Squad has been announced, with Margot Robbie down to play villainess Harley Quinn.

Casting rumours for the 2016 Warner Bros. and DC release have come thick and fast since the announcement of the film, which will be the follow-up to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Robbie’s involvement is the first to be confirmed after Collider reported it had learned of the news “from sources”. The Wolf of Wall Street actress will play Quinn, who was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum before being psychologically manipulated by the Joker and becoming his girlfriend/henchwoman. The first reports of the character put model Cara Delevingne in the picture to play the role; however, it now appears that Robbie beat the Brit to it.

While this is the first confirmed casting for the film, which sees a group of DC super-villains employed by the government to carry out dangerous missions in return for leniency, Harley Quinn’s involvement suggests that the Joker will also feature. After rumours that Ryan Gosling was being courted for the role, The Wrap has since reported that Oscar-winner Jared Leto is now being eyed to play the Clown Prince of Crime.

Since delivering his award-winning turn in The Dallas Buyers Club, rumour has it that Leto was interested in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, but after Benedict Cumberbatch was cast he moved on to DC and is currently thought to be in talks to play the role.

While the various casts of the Suicide Squad have never included the Joker, Harley Quinn has featured on the team since 2011. The Wrap claim that while the Joker did not appear in the upcoming film’s original screenplay, director David Ayer (End of Watch and most recently Fury) is expected to write a new draft rumoured to include the character. There is some concern that so soon after Heath Ledger’s memorable portrayal, audiences may not want a new Joker. However, bagging an Oscar-winner like Leto could turn attitudes around.

These latest reports follow those claiming that both Will Smith and Tom Hardy – who already has experience as a DC villain after playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises – are in talks to play other members of the squad. More recently, Variety has reported that Divergent actor Jai Courtney is supposedly being targeted by Warner Bros. to play Deadshot, an assassin with a death wish.

Real name Floyd Lawton, Deadshot has featured heavily in the comics as a member of the Suicide Squad, so it comes as no surprise that the character may appear on screen.

As well as Divergent, audiences will know Courtney as John McLane’s son in A Good Day to Die Hard, and will see him in the upcoming Terminator reboot.

Suicide Squad is due for release on August 5, 2016.

Sources: Collider | The Wrap | Variety
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