Suicide Squad director David Ayer is again going on the record to say the critically-mauled final cut was not in line with his original vision for the film.
“It’s fun to play ‘gotcha’ but remember released film was very different from original assembly,” Ayer wrote on Twitter Saturday, explaining the arc of psychiatrist-turned-psychopathic criminal Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) was “vastly simplified.”
Ayer elaborated further in a subsequent tweet, writing modern directors are “treated as figureheads and actually have very little say over the final product. We just don’t talk about it.”
Despite its 28% “rotten” on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Suicide Squad was a smash success, earning over $746 million at the worldwide box office.
Ayer previously claimed responsibility for the finalized picture, telling Collider in August 2016 “this cut of the movie is my cut. There’s no sort of parallel universe version of the movie, the released movie is my cut.”
“And that’s one of the toughest things about writing, shooting, and directing a film, is you end up with these orphans and you f—king love them and you think they’d be amazing scenes and do these amazing things but the film is a dictatorship, not a democracy, and just because something’s cool and charismatic doesn’t mean it gets to survive in the final cut,” he said. “The flow of the movie is the highest master.”
The filmmaker, who has since re-teamed with his Suicide Squad star Will Smith for Netflix original film Bright, looked to sidestep throwing studio Warner Bros. under the bus — avoiding the same fate that befell 2015’s Fantastic Four reboot director Josh Trank, who famously took to Twitter the day his poorly-received film reached theaters to distance himself from the final cut.
“A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though,” Trank tweeted, laying the blame solely on studio 20th Century Fox’s shoulders.4comments
Trank has been mostly MIA since while Ayer steered Bright and has long been attached to helm Suicide Squad spinoff Gotham City Sirens, which would team Harley with famous Batman villainess Poison Ivy and sometimes-villain, sometimes anti-hero Catwoman.
The status of that film remains unknown as Warner Bros. is now in the casting stages for Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, which centers around Harley teamed with DC Comics superheroines Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya.