DC fans are gearing up for Warner Bros’ ensemble film The Suicide Squad from Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn. Yet at the same time, there is a growing call for the release of David Ayer’s cut of the 2016 movie that introduced Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn to the big screen comic book universe alongside his Task Force X and Jared Leto’s Joker. In light of the Snyder Cut, Ayer has said that his version of the film was “ripped out” by studio heads, leaving us wondering what audiences missed out on.
Kevin Hickman, one of the film’s editors, spoke with CinemaBlend about his illustrious career on the cutting room floor of movies, including Rogue One and the recent release Triumph. He talked with us his experience on 2016’s Suicide Squad, which he described as an especially “grueling” project to be part of. Hickman offered some insight about why the movie infamously was pulled apart from David Ayer’s original Suicide Squad concept with these words:
Late last year, Suicide Squad writer/director David Ayer said that the vision for his film shifted at the studio once Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice received negative reviews and the comedic Deadpool became a major hit. It reportedly led Warner Bros to become “panicked” and change course. Kevin Hickman shared what exactly needed to be changed from an editing point of view:
Introducing ten major comic book characters in the matter of two hours was never going to be an easy feat, especially in a summer movie as big as Suicide Squad became. A lot of audiences hadn’t opened a Suicide Squad comic book before the movie came out, and Warner Bros was playing catch up with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Amidst all of this, David Ayer didn’t exactly set out to make a straight-laced comic book film.
So it was decided behind the scenes that David Ayer’s original structure for the movie would be changed to offer more introductions early in the film and inject more comedy at the core of the story. And as we’ve certainly heard before, there was a much bigger plan for Jared Leto’s Joker then audiences got to see. When asked about the one aspect of the film Hickman wished had remained, the movie editor said this:
Jared Leto recently got a chance to reprise his version of The Joker for Zack Snyder’s Justice League during some additional photography Snyder did ahead of his director cut being released on HBO Max. The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement was a years-long push by fans that ended on a high note with Snyder’s vision becoming publicly available.
The Snyder Cut has inspired calls for his SnyderVerse to continue, along with #ReleaseTheAyerCut. Kevin Hickman told CinemaBlend his thoughts on Suicide Squad’s director cut:
Warner Bros is certainly moving on with the upcoming release of The Suicide Squad on August 6, but it’s intriguing to hear the story behind David Ayer’s 2016 movie.
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