When it comes to the original plans for the DC Extended Universe, it’s common knowledge that Warner Bros., in an effort to try and copy Marvel’s successful formula, got far too involved in the creative choices of its directors and tried to have big movies recut to be lighter in tone. This famously led to the cinematic releases of Justice League and David Ayer’s Suicide Squad both appearing like choppy messes, far removed from the original vision of those directors.
Thankfully, we’ve now seen how Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League recut the movie into an overly-long feature. It seems unlikely that David Ayer will get the same opportunity to release his own cut of Suicide Squad and so we’ll never know what his take on DC’s black ops group was supposed to have looked like. In an interview with CinemaBlend, film editor Kevin Hickman provided some details from his perspective on just how different Ayer’s version was before the studio decided to reshoot and recut parts of the film:
I would like to see David’s final version of the film. I saw what David was trying to do with the film and I thought it was a pretty bold film. It was less comedy. It was a much darker film. It was almost like a Black Hawk Down type thing. It was just very militarized, very serious. I mean, of course, there were supposed to be comedic moments with Will Smith, but it was a darker film. I like where David was going with it and it would be really nice to see him be able to finish what he started.
I would have loved to have seen a darker take on the Suicide Squad. Sure, I love fun and humour in my movies, but with Marvel doing that so well, Warner Bros. would have been better off just keeping up with the darker tone that Snyder and Ayer were going for. In the interview, Hickman explains that the editing process was quite grueling as a result of all the changes and that “over a million feet of film” were shot by Ayer. Probably all of Jared Leto doing stupid things as the Joker. Most of this footage would end up been changed along the way.
There are calls for people to have an Ayer-cut of the Suicide Squad, but with James Gunn already working on a new movie that looks far better than the first movie, I think it would be best if we just all write this movie off as a bad case of studio interference and hope that the studio will learn their lesson from it. Even though we know they probably won’t.
Last Updated: June 17, 2021