“Suicide Squad” director David Ayer has not minced words when discussing how his 2016 superhero film was recut by Warner Bros. to such a degree that the finished product, which was widely slammed by movie critics, did not match his original vision. The filmmaker has spent quite a few months using social media to lobby for the release of an “Ayer Cut” of “Suicide Squad” (a nod to how Warner Bros. let Zack Snyder release the “Snyder Cut” of “Justice League” after that film’s reshoots changed his original vision), yet the director is now opening up about how he is pausing his crusade to have his original vision see the light of day.
“That’s been the toughest part of my career,” Ayer told Variety while on the press circuit for his upcoming action film “The Beekeeper.” “I made a great movie. I made an amazing film. I’ll go on record. Anyone wants to dispute that: Come look me in the eye. To have something I put so much love and so much heart into get taken away, reengineered… you know that Eric Andre meme where he shoots the guy and says, ‘Why’d you do that?’ That’s been like ‘Suicide Squad.’ ‘Why’d you do that?’ I didn’t.”
“Every time a new movie comes out in that space it starts up again,” he continued about repeated “Suicide Squad” criticisms. “I get attacked for something that I didn’t do. It’s pretty unjust, and at the end of the day, at this point, I get it, it’s corporate America. It’s corporate IP. You know these are multi-billion dollar companies, but I think ripping the guts out of a filmmaker like that is is pretty unfair.”
When asked about the possibility of a one-off screening, Ayer said that would help him to get some official closure for the project.
“I would love a ‘last rites’ screening,” Ayer said. “A funeral screening, you know, even just bringing the cast and crew together to show them what they actually made. That that would be fair for everyone.”
Ayer informed his fans on X (formerly Twitter) last August that new DC Studios boss James Gunn told him the Ayer Cut “would have its time to be shared,” although it appears Ayer will no longer be pushing for that. His 2016 “Suicide Squad” starred Will Smith and introduced Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. The latter character is getting her own spinoff set in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new DC Universe.
“The Beekeeper” opens in theaters on Jan. 12.