David Ayer fueled the apparently growing #ReleaseTheAyerCut movement for his 2016 movie Suicide Squad on Monday when he confirmed that a script page posted online was for a scene near the end of the film. Further Ayer revealed he filmed the sequence, which involved a confrontation between the eponymous team and Jared Leto as the Joker.
The scene in question, which seems to also indicate that Joker joins forces with primary villain the Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) at some point, was posted on Twitter by a fan who asked Ayer, “Did you shoot all this?”
Ayer’s response was, “Yes I did. Shot and edited. Of course you were not permitted to see it my friend.”
The filmmaker’s response confirms longstanding reports that Joker was originally supposed to have a much larger role in the film than he eventually did. That in turn lends more credence to assertions by Ayer that his original version of Suicide Squad was drastically re-edited and reshaped by Warner Bros. Pictures.
In the wake of Warner Bros. caving to fan demands on 2017’s Justice League and agreeing to release a new cut of the movie from director Zack Snyder on HBO Max next year, fans online are now petitioning for the studio to release (or make?) David Ayer’s “cut” of Suicide Squad.
Ayer has claimed that he was aiming for a more serious, layered, character-driven film with Suicide Squad, but that his plans were dashed when disappointing reviews and box office for Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice led panicked studio execs to rethink the whole “dark, gritty” approach for something along the lines of the lighthearted Deadpool.
But here’s the thing: the tonally confused, jarringly edited version of Suicide Squad that did make it into theaters was still a mammoth hit, earning $746 million worldwide at the box office–unlike Justice League, which found a relatively paltry $657 million (not what Warners was hoping for from the long-awaited DC response to Marvel’s multi-billion dollar Avengers franchise).
Critics and some fans were not happy with Suicide Squad, however, which prompted Ayer to begin publicly hinting that the finished movie was not the one he set out to make.
With all that money from the first movie in the bank and a second film, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, on the way, Warners does not necessarily have the same financial incentive to recut and re-release Suicide Squad as it does with Justice League.
Still, parent company AT&T is eager to drive subscribers to its new HBO Max service, which is a big reason why the Snyder Cut of Justice League is going to exist in the first place. So if there is enough of an outcry, and they want to keep luring dejected DC fans to the new streaming outlet, the Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad could be a tempting treat.