Now that Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League will premier on HBOMax, David Ayer, the director of the much-maligned, yet box office smash, Suicide Squad, wants to get in on the action. In a recent tweet, Ayer described how the theatrical version of Suicide Squad got the “Edward Scissorhands” treatment, in response to a fan asking why HBO Max doesn’t just release his alleged longer version.
This is a good question. My cut would be easy to complete. It would be incredibly cathartic for me. It’s exhausting getting your ass kicked for a film that got the Edward Scissorhands treatment. The film I made has never been seen. https://t.co/FkeHAlNoV0
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) May 25, 2020
However, there might be one small issue. According to Ayer himself, we’ve already seen his cut.
Should We Even Get an Ayer Suicide Squad Cut?
Could Katana, Captain Boomerang, and Killer Croc get actual character development in the Ayer Suicide Squad cut? (Image: Suicide Squad, Warner Bros.)
Why not? Obviously, Warner Bros didn’t handle the early days of the DCEU very well. At first, they let Snyder and Nolan do their own thing with Man of Steel, but once Nolan passed the torch, they put an iron grip on Snyder. Then the theatrical version of Dawn of Justice had every scene connecting the plot together stripped out of it. And this led to stories about the production of Suicide Squad. Originally, Joker was the main villain of that film…and somehow it changed to Enchantress with Joker as a minor character. By the time they got to Snyder’s Justice League, they gutted a script by an Oscar-winning writer, brought in another director to reshoot a majority of the film, and cut it down to just under two hours. Remember, Zack Snyder originally wanted to shoot two Justice League movies back-t0-back.
Warner/DC releasing the Snyder Cut indicates that they are letting go of their grip on those early days. So, if there is an Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad, they might as well release it. What would be great to see is everything Leto did that the studio cut. As he said on Twitter earlier this year:
For sure character creation is a tightrope. I took inspiration from the current DC comics. I find it incredible it’s still such a topic 5 years later. My heart breaks for Jared – he did magnificent work. Most of it remains unseen. https://t.co/IRj7vB1ZjG
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) May 5, 2020
But What About The Cut of Suicide Squad We’ve Already Seen?
At one point, Ayer was a company man who toed the line. When Warner Bros. released the original film, David Ayer claimed that the theatrical Suicide Squad was the Ayer cut. So how did we go from “this was my film” to “the studio butchered my film?” Well, it might have something to do with Warner Bros hiring James Gunn for The Suicide Squad, taking the franchise away from him. Also, Ayer said, releasing his cut of Suicide Squad would be cathartic. Ayer got most of the blame for the movie’s bad reviews. Afterward, Ayer turned down the sequel. If it turns out the Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad is a much better movie, and the world can see that…yeah, that’d definitely be cathartic.
However, it’s also fair to question whether or not more of a “bad” (so-to-speak) movie would make it better? Were the failings of Suicide Squad the result of a poor cut or were the film’s problems more baked in? I’ll leave that for you all to decide in the comments below.
(Featured Image: Suicide Squad, Warner Bros.)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.