When word broke recently that not only had Warner Bros officially tapped David Ayer to do a Suicide Squad adaptation as part of their DC Comics lineup, but that they were also setting their sights on the very top of the Hollywood A-list when it came to casting, most fans experienced a mix of responses. Namely, “WHOO HOO!!” followed swiftly by “Ha ha ha! Don’t be silly”. But unrealistic casts aside, the name David Ayer alone should be enough to keep that whoo hoo-ness alive.
The writer-director who first came to everybody’s attention when he penned Training Day, started out his career seemingly as the LAPD’s unofficial mouthpiece as he churned out one decent but not great cop drama after another. But in the last two years, he’s been upping his game significantly. Okay, yes, this phase of game-upmanship started with End of Watch, another LA cop drama, but it was a brilliantly ambitious LA cop drama with its quasi-found footage approach. And while his next effort, the charmless Arnie bloodbath Sabotage, was pretty abrasive, it did show how he was levelling up in terms of action direction. All of which is also on display in his latest effort, the highly authentic (Just ask Shia LaBeouf to show you his teeth and face scars) WWII tank drama Fury, which has been pulling in solid reviews thus far.
And all of this has seemingly prepared Ayer for his next step into the loud, colourful and monstrous budget world of superhero comic book adaptations with Suicide Squad, as the filmmaker explained to Empire recently:
“‘Fury’ whetted my appetite for a bigger canvas and this idea of world creation. You can do amazing things as a filmmaker if you have the proper tools, and those are time and money.”
And time and money are two things that Ayer will definitely have in abundance with WB’s backing. One thing he won’t have though? Superheroes. As we’ve explained in the past, in the DC Comics universe the Suicide Squad is a government sanctioned task force run out of Belle Reve prison comprised almost entirely of incarcerated supervillains who are either coerced into performing black ops missions or volunteer in return for a commuting of their sentence. With no hero, so to speak, you would think that this would create problems for Ayer’s film, but he reminds us this kind of thing has been done pretty successfully before, and it should be approached just like any other movie.
“I can say that it’s a Dirty Dozen with supervillains. Then I can ask the question, ‘Does a movie really need good guys?'”
“[You cast this unsavoury bunch] like one would cast any other role. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to do what I do in my typical fever dream of directing.”
While Ayer wouldn’t share any story or character details, he did go to explain how much he’s looking forward to getting caught up in the world of comic books and its fans.
“I love the passion [comic-book fans] have for these characters and these worlds. I think there’s something incredible about the comic genre and technology has finally caught up with pen and ink to render these fantastic worlds in a way that feels believable and visceral to audiences. It’s a secular religion in that regards. The mythology that these characters represent – the idea of them as fallen gods on Earth – is intriguing to me. I can’t wait to start exploring those corridors.”
Suicide Squad – possibly headlined by Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Tom Hardy and Margot Robbie, if that can be believed – is currently scheduled for release on August 15, 2016.
Last Updated: October 21, 2014