While the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was quite poorly received, Zack Snyder was able to get the “Ultimate Edition” of the film released on home media. Adding in certain backstories and characters allowed for a more comprehensive take on the story, which is now generally considered to be the superior version. So, a director’s cut can do a lot of good, even though it may be too little too late for some. And DC’s latest project, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, has unfortunately run into similar problems.
Officially hitting theaters on Friday, the film has received pretty weak reception from critics so far. Despite these opinions, the comic book genre is one that fans should really have the final say. Suicide Squad has been one of the most anticipated movies of the year, so it remains to be seen how well it fairs with audiences. There have been recent reports of production troubles and noticeable studio involvement in the final product, although Ayer has a few things to say about the matter. In an interview with Collider, Ayer discussed that the released movie is his version, not some magical studio construction.
But 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 fucking love them and you think they’d be amazing scenes and do these amazing things but the film is a dictatorship (laughs), not a democracy, and just because something’s cool and charismatic doesn’t mean it gets to survive in the final cut. The flow of the movie is the highest master.
As with any studio film, there are going to be certain tweaks, changes, problems, and who knows what else until the final cut is shown. Ayer is clearly making this movie for fans, not critics, so it’s no surprise that a lot of different minds went into creating what audiences will see. And not only is forming the story a team effort, the tedious editing process can also have many difficulties as well. Ayer went on to discuss just how challenging it can be.
I think there’s a misunderstanding about filmmaking where you can somehow have this crystal ball and understand exactly how everything is going to work together and assemble together. Because remember scripts type word on a page, a black and white page, and when you’re on set you’re dealing with shots and you’re dealing with dailies, and so you have this 7-minute shot and maybe only 10 seconds of that shot is gonna end up in the movie. There’s infinite combinations, infinite knock-on effects, and it’s this strange alchemy that happens and things that you thought during the writing phase breaking your back trying to explain and needs three pages to explain it, you realize it works with just a look on camera in the assembly.
Suicide Squad is crucial for the future success of the DC Cinematic Universe, and hopefully, all the work that Ayer and the talented cast put in will pay off for everyone. Ayer is good to defend his prized work, particularly after having to deal with so much unnecessary negativity towards it. We may get to see an extended cut of the film down-the-line, but fans should be able to get plenty of enjoyment out of the already wild theatrical version.
Suicide Squad opens on August 5.