Jake Gyllenhaal may not have received an Oscar nomination for “Nightcrawler” on Thursday but he could still end the day with a win, as David Ayer is courting his “End of Watch” star to replace Tom Hardy as Rick Flagg in “Suicide Squad,” multiple individuals familiar with the comic book project have told TheWrap.
Warner Bros. had no comment, while a representative for Gyllenhaal didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hardy was forced to exit the project because Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s “The Revenant” is going over schedule into mid-March, after which Hardy will be needed to promote WB’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which comes out on May 15. “Suicide Squad” is expected to start production in April, and that time crunch is why Hardy had to drop out of the film.
“Suicide Squad” is set to star Will Smith as Batman villain Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevigne as Enchantress and Jared Leto as The Joker, as first reported by TheWrap. Meanwhile, Viola Davis is in negotiations to play Amanda Waller and Jesse Eisenberg is in talks to reprise his upcoming role as Lex Luthor.
Gyllenhaal has emerged as Ayer’s favorite to play “Suicide Squad” leader Rick Flagg, having previously worked with the director on “End of Watch,” which led to roles in WB’s well-received thriller “Prisoners” and the riveting “Nightcrawler” role that earned him a slew of critics awards on top of a Golden Globe nomination. He’s currently up for a SAG award for the same film.
“Suicide Squad” is being produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, while Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns are serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. will release “Suicide Squad” on Aug. 5, 2016.
Gyllenhaal next stars in Antoine Fuqua‘s “Southpaw,” for which he packed on a considerable amount of muscle. He’s currently on Broadway opposite Ruth Wilson in “Constellations,” and he also has “Everest” and “Demolition” in the can.
Gyllenhaal is represented by WME and attorney Alan Hergott.