One fun thing about comic book movies, particularly those in the DC Universe, is that after they come out, filmmakers share secrets about what could have been. Zack Snyder continues to share teases from the Justice League movie he wasn't allowed to finish. And now David Ayer is revealing on social media that Steppenwolf and the mother boxes were supposed to be a major part of his Suicide Squad movie, until he was cut off at the knees. Says Ayer:
Director David Ayer responded to a fan on Twitter who was sharing what looked like concept art from Suicide Squad, the supervillain team up movie that definitely feels like it was tinkered with, repeatedly, during production. In the concept art, we see Steppenwolf and the parademons -- significant threats in Justice League -- showing up in Squad.
Ayer confirms now that Enchantress, the villain played by Cara Delevingne, was originally supposed to be under the control of the mother boxes, those artifacts that caused all sorts of headaches for Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the members of the JLA in their own movie.
In addition to that, David Ayer went one step further and dropped this bomb:
This makes more sense than we expected. The final act of Suicide Squad is when most agree the story completely goes off the rails. What's supposed to be a rescue mission turns into the members of the Suicide Squad -- including Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) -- teaming up to fight Enchantress in a CGI-heavy mess of poor choreography and worse plotting. It looked like this:
But now that we know the Squad, throughout the course of their movie, was supposed to be tracking Steppenwolf -- and that Enchantress was really under the control of the mother boxes -- this changes completely what the movie could have been. There's additional support that the mother boxes really could have been the thread connecting all of the DCEU (like the Infinity Stones over at Marvel). And a confrontation with Steppenwolf in Suicide Squad would have led to a better jumping off point for Justice League. At least, it would have helped explain why Batman was fighting parademons when that movie started.
There were plans in place at DC to connect these movies, but a few decisions derailed the overall tapestry, and instead of Steppenwolf, we got Enchantress's evil brother. He looked like this.
Yikes. Things will start to get back on track for the DCEU when Aquaman opens up on December 21. Beyond that, DC fans have Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984 to look forward to. The future looks bright, but the glimpses into the past are a fascinating contemplation on what might have been.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.