Now that the Snyder Cut of Justice League is definitely releasing next year, the floodgates have opened to fan demands for other director’s cuts of various movies. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad was another DCEU film that was said to have been reshot extensively to force Ayer’s vision to conform to studio demands. As fans raise the demand for an ‘Ayer Cut’, the filmmaker himself is taking an active part in the discussion on social media. Recently, when a fan posted two images of the Joker from the movie on Twitter, one from the theatrical cut and one from the purported director’s cut, Ayer weighed in on the difference between the two.
“This was reshot because the tone was “too dark” – My first act was a normally constructed film. I took my inspiration from Nolan. There were real scenes with incredible acting between Jared and Margot. Joker was terrifying. Harley was complex.”
Before it’s release, Suicide Squad was being touted as the next The Dark Knight, a gritty and realistic take on antiheroes that would push comic book movies in a daring new direction. Instead, what we got was a confused narrative filled with leaden jokes and two-dimensional characters. As David Ayer wrote in a subsequent tweet, the jokes and shortened story arcs were a result of executive meddling.
“Imagine if Todd Phillips film The Joker was reshot and recut because it was too dark – This is EXACTLY what happened to Suicide Squad. Anyone who says my cut did not work owes me to say it directly to me.”
Joker has become industry shorthand for a comic book movie that follows a dark path and throws every genre convention out of the window, and is spectacularly successful in the process. And according to Ayer, Sucide Squad was also made in the same spirit.
But while Joker was a small, standalone experimental effort, Sucide Squad had the responsibility of being a part of the DCEU and was thus forced to conform to a narrative that Warner Bros. was trying to establish. A narrative that many fans complain relies too much on copying the MCU success formula.
As Ayer continues to engage with fans and tease the release of the ‘Ayer Cut’, some believe his behavior is encouraging the toxic parts of movie fandom to indulge in bullying behavior. The filmmaker addressed this criticism in another follow-up tweet in response to a post about him enabling toxic fanboys.
How? By articulating my truth? By being loyal to my vision? I understand that much larger social dynamics are always at play with everything.
It seems Ayer is very committed to having the world appreciate his personal vision for Suicide Squad someday. James Gunn, who is performing a soft reboot of the franchise with the upcoming The Suicide Squad, has already expressed his support for the release of the Ayer Cut. In a post-Snyder Cut world, that may very well end up happening someday.