Harley Quinn in first Suicide Squad movie.
(Warner Bros.)

Director David Ayer: Suicide Squad “Studio Cut Is Not My Movie,” but Says He’s Done Talking About It

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Director David Ayer tweeted out a lengthy statement called “My Turn,” in which he addressed his relationship to the 2016 DC comics movie Suicide Squad, which is now getting a “sequel” in The Suicide Squad but with a different director, James Gunn.

“I put my life into Suicide Squad,” Ayer wrote, in response to a tweet saying he should give up on his own Director’s Cut. “I made something amazing. My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some bad people who are shit on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul). The studio cut is not my movie. Read that again. And my cut is not the 10 week director’s cut — it’s a fully mature edit by Lee Smith standing on the incredible work by John Gilroy. It’s all Steven Price’s brilliant score, with not a single radio song in the whole thing. It has traditional character arcs, amazing performances, a solid third-act resolution. A handful of people have seen it.”

He continued on to say, “I never told my side of the story and never will … I’m old school like that. So I kept my mouth shut and took the tsunami of sometimes shocking personal criticism.”

Ayer ended the statement with support for Gunn and the rest of the team.

Despite my own dislike of Suicide Squad, following everything that has been revealed from Zack Snyder’s experience and just the near-universal messages we have gotten from directors who have worked with Warner Bros. having a mixed experience, I have no doubt that Ayer feel s bitter.

At the time of the film’s release, we knew that the movie had gone through several cuts, and while there is a “director’s cut” of the film, it just feels like extended clips of stuff from the film. Going back to the long piece from The Hollywood Reporter that detailed the rushed protection of the film, it very much throws many people under the bus with subtext.

“Yet if the villain team-up ultimately works — and it has drawn some harsh early reviews — it will be in spite of the kind of behind-the-scenes drama that is becoming typical for giant franchise movies that now are the main focus of the studio business: a production schedule engineered to meet an ambitious release date; a director, David Ayer (Fury), untested in making tentpole movies; and studio executives, brimming with anxiety, who are ready to intercede forcefully as they attempt to protect a branded asset.”

At the time, in a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Ayer and Warner Bros. production president Greg Silverman said, “This was an amazing experience. We did a lot of experimentation and collaboration along the way. But we are both very proud of the result. This is a David Ayer film, and Warners is proud to present it.”

Yet clearly, that was something that was said to make a troubled production seem better to the public. I can see why, with all the support for Zack Snyder and his massive alternate cut of Justice League, Ayer and others would want to follow that trail, but I don’t think it’ll reach the same peak. I do hope that Ayer gets some peace of knowing that, while his work has had mixed results, we do believe that there were probably just too many cooks in the kitchen.

(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: Warner Bros.)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.