Since just after Suicide Squad hit theaters, fans have wanted to know what the movie would have been like without so much interference on the part of Warner Bros. The film, from director David Ayer, was stylish and bombastic, but its sense of humor and pacing seemed...off. The former just not quite what audiences would expect from Ayer, given his other work. The latter was more pronounced, leading to at least one extremely viral video about the editing of Suicide Squad. And now, an editor who was the butt of so much criticism has spoken out about what might have been.
The long and short of it is that fans have been largely right in most of their speculation in the last few years. It seems as though a lot of the movie was cut for time, with reshoots or edits made to emphasize the humor.
"It was well over a million feet of film that we shot for Suicide Squad, and it was such a big, big ensemble movie having so many characters that you have to introduce and set up their backstory and the end develop a camaraderie between them all," Kevin Hickman told CinemaBlend. "So, Suicide Squad was a challenge because we had so many characters and at some point we screened it for the studio and they wanted to take things in a different direction. [Warner Bros wanted the] origin of the characters to happen much closer to the beginning and insert a level of comedy into the film."
Ayer has said that the financial and critical successes of Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool, combined with the disappointing performance of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, "spooked" Warner Bros. executives, who tried to pivot mid-movie on Suicide Squad. While the movie was lambasted by critics, it was a financial success, setting up a sequel which, several creative changes later, became a kinda/sorta rebootquel from Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn, due out in August.
The new movie will carry over some characters from Ayer's version, including Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), along with a number of new characters and a tone that seems to sync up with Gunn's unique sensibilities. Ayer has had nothing but positive things to say about the choice to recruit Gunn, seemingly blaming studio meddling for his frustrations but not lashing out at another filmmaker just trying to make a good movie.
Fans continue to campaign for the release of Ayer's director's cut of Suicide Squad, which is reportedly much closer to completed than Zack Snyder's Justice League was.