Suicide Squad director David Ayer has been open about DC’s changes to his original vision for the film. Prior to the debut of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad in 2021, there was Ayer’s 2016 film The Suicide Squad, which marked the team’s debut in the DCEU. Despite the film’s box office success, The Suicide Squad did not receive the love that fans expected, with Ayer claiming over the years that this was due to DC’s changes to his film.
During an appearance on Jon Bernthal’s Real Ones podcast, Ayer talks about what happened to Suicide Squad.
Asked about his biggest grudge in Hollywood, Ayer confirms that it was Suicide Squad, saying, “It broke me.” The director then talks about the situation, recalling that at the time of signing with The Suicide Squad, he had just made the famous war film Fury. According to Ayer, DC never tested Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice prior to its release, and the negative reaction to the film prompted the studio to make significant changes to Suicide Squad, turning it “into a bloody comedy.” Here is the full exchange below:
Bernthal: What is your biggest pain in the film industry?
Ayer: Hollywood, I tell people, is like watching someone you love get fucked by someone you hate. The biggest pain was Suicide Squad. This thing broke me, knocked me out.
Ayer: After Fury, huh? The city was in my hands – I could do anything, and I did everything. And, you know, walk this path together. And the same thing – genuine, sincere, we all rehearse, really penetrate into each other’s soul. Let’s create this amazing collaborative thing, shall we? And then… there’s no Deadpool, right? And they never tested Batman v Superman so they released the movie and they never did a test and they expected a different result and then they got slaughtered by all the critics. Then he’s like, “Okay, we’re turning a dark animated David Eyre into a bloody comedy.”
What we know about Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad
Over the years, Ayer has shared plenty of details about what fans can expect to see if Ayer’s version of The Suicide Squad ever becomes available, with leaks of some of the director’s cuts surfacing. One of the most criticized aspects of The Suicide Squad may receive some form of redemption in the future, as Jared Leto’s Joker arc was heavily compromised by removing most of his scenes from the film.
Many deleted scenes from Ayer’s Suicide Squad have been discovered. In one of them, Leto’s Joker would interact with the Enchantress, making a deal with her to get Harley Quinn back and become the “King of Gotham”. Another scene could provide an interesting connection between 2016’s Suicide Squad and 2017’s Justice League, where the Enchantress uses the Mother Box in the movie version of Ayer, the item that Steppenwolf was looking for in the Justice League.
Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad seems to balance the dark and light moments well. One scene shown includes Ben Affleck’s Batman telling Deadshot that his daughter will have gray hair when she sees him again, while another scene depicts Rick Flag and June Moon being caught kissing by Amanda Waller, who advises them to use “protection” to avoid the birth of the Antichrist. Ayer recently announced Gunn’s promise to release Ayer’s version of The Suicide Squad, so there’s a real chance audiences can see how Ayer’s original vision for The Suicide Squad will play out in the future.