Suicide Squad director David Ayer shares a new look at his unreleased Ayer Cut, where the fiery metahuman El Diablo (Jay Hernandez) survives his battle with Incubus (Alain Chanoine). Footage that surfaced in 2018 showed Diablo, real name Chato Santana, still alive by the time his newfound family — Squad members Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), and Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) — face the defeated Enchantress (Cara Delevingne). Ayer later confirmed Diablo, who sacrifices himself to destroy Incubus in the 2016 theatrical cut of Suicide Squad, originally survived before the character was killed off in reshoots.
In a temporary Instagram story, Ayer shared a look at Diablo (center) standing among the survivors of the Squad’s climactic battle with Enchantress. A barely visible caption reads, "It's time to chase your dreams."
When explaining Diablo's studio-mandated death in a September 2020 tweet, Ayer wrote: "The argument was because he killed his family he had to die. It was either that or the backstory of his family would have been cut. Sometimes it's just triage to protect against a worse outcome." Suicide Squad reveals that Diablo lost control of his pyrokinesis abilities, accidentally killing his wife (Corina Calderon) and two children (Daniela and Nicolas Uruena) in a fiery blaze.
Ayer later revealed the character's tragic backstory was "the only battle" he won with the studio. "Decision makers were allergic to Diablo killing his family," Ayer tweeted in 2020. "Look at my films - death, guilt, redemption and emancipation from toxic relationships are themes I explore as a filmmaker. The human soul is beautiful and complex."
After fans successfully campaigned for the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League — filmmaker Zack Snyder's four-hour, R-rated director's cut of Justice League now streaming on HBO Max — a growing number of voices are calling on WarnerMedia to #ReleaseTheAyerCut, Ayer's version of Suicide Squad not released to audiences in 2016. In March, Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, told Variety the AT&T-owned company "won't be developing David Ayer's cut [of Suicide Squad]."
Much like the blazing-hot Diablo, Ayer says his director's cut of Suicide Squad is "fire."1comments
"It is f*cking amazing. On God," Ayer tweeted in October. "I felt guilty for years like I f*cked [up]. Nope. It's fire. It's the tone of the Comic-Con trailer 100%."
Warner Bros. next releases writer-director James Gunn's The Suicide Squad on August 6.