You’ve heard of the Snyder Cut, but is there room enough in the DC movie do-over universe for…the Ayer cut? Not exactly — though there probably would be if original Suicide Squad director David Ayer could have his way. Buoyed by the success of Zack Snyder's Justice League at HBO Max, Ayer is engaging fans who’ve been calling for an auteur’s version of his own 2016 walk on DC’s wild side through the #ReleasetheAyerCut hashtag — even as the hype machine for the upcoming James Gunn-directed version is picking up steam.
Speaking recently with Entertainment Weekly, Ayer said he’s stoked at the studio support that helped Snyder’s thoroughly reworked final version of Justice League make it to the finish line, as well as all the fan love it’s gotten. And while he’s realistic about the seemingly slim possibility of getting the green light to revisit his own Suicide Squad in similar fashion, he’d definitely love for fans to see the final product he originally had in mind.
“It's frustrating because I made a really heartfelt drama and it got ripped to pieces and they tried to turn it into Deadpool, which it just wasn't supposed to be,” he shared, adding that the 2016 film — which downplayed Jared Leto’s much-buzzed Joker role — would make Leto’s Joker the main villain if Ayer’s original vision could ever see the light of day.
Ayer’s aim for a more dramatic and darker take on Suicide Squad reportedly became a casualty of unfortunate timing, coming in the wake of the somewhat tepid reception of Snyder’s moody and dramatic Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Suicide Squad scored a hefty $746 million at the global box office, but critics weren’t wowed as stars Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman and others raised the snark stakes (while Leto’s Joker stayed mostly on the sidelines).
Ayer stands behind the studio’s business-minded decision to lighten the mood — though he’s adamant that there’s a completely different Suicide Squad playing in his head than the one fans got to see. “Even though it didn't represent what I actually made, I would take all the bullets and be a good soldier,” he said. “I made an amazing movie. It's an amazing movie, it just scared the s*** out of the executives.”
While Warner Bros. has reportedly said it has no plans to give Ayer’s Suicide Squad the director’s cut treatment, DC’s gang of anti-heroes is still bounding back to the big screen soon with a different cast and different director. Watch for the James Gunn-helmed The Suicide Squad to light up theaters and HBO Max beginning August 6.