Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, others approached for WB’s DC Comics Suicide Squad movie

suicide squad reportedly looking recruit jesse eisenbergs lex luthor

With the news that Warner Bros. is planning a live-action Suicide Squad movie set in its burgeoning DC Comics cinematic universe, speculation has naturally turned to which characters — and actors, of course — will be cast in director David Ayer’s first foray into comic book movies.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is courting an impressive group of well-known actors that includes Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, and Margot Robbie. Given the film’s source material — the modern iteration of the comic followed a team of supervillains tasked with carrying out difficult missions for the government — the project makes sense as an ensemble film, and the studio seems intent on assembling an all-star cast.

Created in 1959 by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, the team known as The Suicide Squad began as a fairly typical team of monster-fighting characters, but was remade in 1987 by writer John Ostrander, who shaped its current and most popular incarnation. Over the course of several series featuring the team, its roster has included well-known villains Bane, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, and Poison Ivy, among others.

With Hardy already known to superhero movie audiences as the actor who portrayed Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, it’s reasonable to wonder whether the studio would consider having him reprise the role as the popular Batman villain.

Adding to the distance Warner Bros. is putting between its cinematic universe and the television side of its DC Comics properties, The Suicide Squad was recently introduced in the popular Arrow television series and it isn’t expected to have any connection with its big-screen counterpart. A different version of the team was also introduced in the recent Batman: Assault On Arkham animated movie.

Suicide Squad is scheduled to hit theaters August 5, 2016.