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Suicide Squad’s David Ayer Explains Why The Movie Was Never Going To Be Rated R

Harley, Deadshot, and Flag in Suicide Squad

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The DC Extended Universe has had a unique life in theaters, with twists both in front and behind the camera. And while Warner Bros. has hit its stride with a slew of critically acclaimed movies, there were a few missteps along the way. One of these was David Ayer's 2017 blockbuster Suicide Squad, with the filmmaker citing studio interference for altering his original vision. And now the Bright director has refuted reports of the movie ever being aimed for an R-rating.

Over the past few years, R-rated comic book movies have been released in theaters, proving what the rating isn't guaranteed to sink projects within the genre financially. While Deadpool and Logan leaned on this, it seems David Ayer never intended Suicide Squad to get the same treatment. Ayer recently addressed this rumor on social media, posting:

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Well, that seems pretty clear. It looks like David Ayer never intended Suicide Squad to be an adult themed R-rated blockbuster. Instead, his vision for the movie was for the more accessible PG-13 crowd, allowing kids to enjoy comic book movies the same as adults. And ultimately that's exactly what the movie was rated when it hit theaters back in 2017.

David Ayer cleared up this rumor about Suicide Squad's rating over on his personal Twitter. He often uses social media to communicate with the fandom, answering questions about his work in the DC Extended Universe in the process. And while Ayer has been open about how his original vision for the villain-centric blockbuster was altered by the studio, that wasn't the case in regards to the movie's rating.

The theatrical version of Suicide Squad is currently streaming on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up (opens in new tab) for the streaming service.

While 2017's Suicide Squad was never planned to be rated R, it was indeed influenced by Ryan Reynold's first Deadpool movie. Namely because the studio saw the massive success of that romp at Fox, and cut the movie together in order to make it more comedic and raunchy. This is why so much of David Ayer's original vision was altered, and why Jared Leto's Joker was largely left on the cutting room floor.

As a result, the theatrical version of Suicide Squad failed to truly resonate with audiences when it hit theaters. But it was successful in a variety of other ways, making money at the box office and even earning an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Additionally, the movie's success inspired Margot Robbie's spinoff Birds of Prey and James Gunn's upcoming soft reboot The Suicide Squad.

Fans are eager to see what The Suicide Squad is rated, and what Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn has in store for his upcoming DC debut. The movie's cast of characters and sizzle reel was just released, featuring plenty of named actors playing lesser known characters. David Ayer himself is supportive of the project, especially with Gunn in the director's chair. And Gunn has confirmed that there's been no studio interference on his end.

The Suicide Squad is currently expected to hit theaters on August 6th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.