Why David Ayer Says Suicide Squad 'Scared' Executives Into Trying To Copy What Deadpool Was Doing

Jared Leto as Joker laughing in someone's face in David Ayer's Suicide Squad
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Although the ongoing #ReleaseTheSnyderCut trend has become outdated thanks to Zack Snyder’s Justice League reaching HBO Max earlier this month, the unprecedented director’s cut movement has inspired some new fan campaigns. #ReleaseTheAyerCut and #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. DCEU fans are hoping to see David Ayer’s true vision for 2016’s Suicide Squad, and the filmmaker is providing context as to why the theatrical release was so disappointing.

On the Monday following the drop of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff made blatant comments about the studio moving away from Snyder’s planned Justice League arc after the HBO Max release. Warner Bros has no plans to continue the SnyderVerse, nor will it apparently entertain the director’s cut of the first Suicide Squad movie. Even so, David Ayer is speaking out about why his film may deserve a second pass by describing his Suicide Squad experience. In his words:

I get it, it's a business. It's frustrating because I made a really heartfelt drama and it got ripped to pieces and they tried to turn it into Deadpool, which it just wasn't supposed to be. And then you take the hit, you're the captain of the ship, my name was on it. [Laughs] Even though it didn't represent what I actually made, I would take all the bullets and be a good soldier. I made an amazing movie. It's an amazing movie, it just scared the shit out of the executives.

In a recent interview with EW, David Ayer spoke candidly about Warner Bros’ role in changing the Suicide Squad film the director had intended for 2016 moviegoers. The superhero blockbuster came out the summer directly following Fox’s Deadpool success, and the studio reportedly made some changes to Suicide Squad to resemble the Marvel film. Sadly, that meant changes to Ayer’s intentions for the film and some dismal responses about the highly-anticipated DCEU entry.

Similarly to Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League, it seems as though David Ayer had a darker and more heartfelt approach to his comic book movie, but some of it was switched out to more resemble the snarky tome of the Ryan Reynolds-led Deadpool, which had become a runaway hit. One of the key changes to Suicide Squad Ayer has noted is the diminished amount of Jared Leto’s Joker. The performance reportedly had a lot more to it than audiences saw in theaters back in August 2016.

Suicide Squad made comparable numbers at the box office to Deadpool in 2016, but it was pulled apart by critics and fans alike. Though it did still manage to become a big cultural moment and introduce Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn to the DCEU. Following its reception, David Ayer has been removed from plans to continue the storyline and James Gunn came in to make The Suicide Squad, which is coming this summer. Check out the trailer below:

James Gunn’s version will see the return of some familiar members from the 2016 movie, along with a huge new cast including Idris Elba, Sylvester Stallone and Pete Davidson among them, as well as redirect the title to a new vision different from David Ayer’s. The Suicide Squad is coming to theaters and HBO Max on August 6. What do you think? Would you like to see The Ayer Cut? Vote in our poll below.

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.