David Ayer on ‘Suicide Squad': ‘My Soulful Drama Was Beaten Into a Comedy’

Director says his film was modeled after the “Dark Knight” trilogy but was reshot following the success of “Deadpool”

“Suicide Squad” director David Ayer laments that following major reshoots and edits before its 2016 release, “My soulful drama was beaten into a ‘comedy.'”

Now that “Justice League” is getting the long-demand “Snyder Cut,” DC fans have turned their attention to Ayer’s “Suicide Squad,” which, according to the director, turned out to be from his original vision.

On Twitter, Ayer responded to the hashtag #ReleaseTheAyerCut, which demanded that Warner Bros. give “Suicide Squad” the same treatment it is now giving to “Justice League” and release a version of the film as the director had intended. Ayer noted that such a version would look like the film’s first trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015, which had darker colors and a more serious tone that focused on the status of Harley Quinn, Deadshot and the other members of the squad as criminals coerced by the government into a black ops mission.

“This trailer nailed the tone and intention of the film I made. Methodical. Layered. Complex, beautiful and sad,” Ayer tweeted. “After the [‘Batman v. Superman’] reviews shell shocked the leadership at the time, and the success of ‘Deadpool’- My soulful drama was beaten into a ‘comedy.'”

The trailer released after the reshoots promised a much different film. The color palette of the title card was changed from black and red to saturated neon colors. The ominous rendition of “I Started A Joke” was replaced with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and greater emphasis was Harley Quinn’s wisecracking and exciting explosions. The tagline for the film was changed to “Worst. Heroes. Ever.,” which would certainly draw comparisons among comic book fans to the irreverent, anti-hero tone of “Deadpool.”

“My first act was a normally constructed film. I took my inspiration from Nolan. There were real scenes with incredible acting between Jared and Margot. Joker was terrifying. Harley was complex,” Ayer tweeted.

While “Suicide Squad” had a strong $133 million opening weekend and turned a profit with nearly $750 million grossed worldwide, it was panned by critics and got a mixed reception from audiences. The following year, “Wonder Woman” earned rave reviews and outperformed “Suicide Squad” and “Justice League” at the box office, becoming a major factor in Warner Bros. revamping its approach to DC films. “Suicide Squad” did have an impact though, as Margot Robbie returned to play Harley again in “Birds of Prey.”

Ayer, meanwhile, wanted to emphasize that he doesn’t hold a grudge with Warner Bros.: “This was just a moment in the past – Those involved have moved on. The studio is in a great place today and encouraging filmmakers to make their vision.”

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