Suicide Squad 2016 poster
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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Suicide Squad's David Ayer confirms Harley/Deadshot romance, Diablo's survival in original script

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May 19, 2020

Though it will soon be eclipsed by a new version of the same team in James Gunn's upcoming The Suicide Squad, David Ayer's 2016 DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad still has plenty of fans who responded to the mix of grit and levity that Ayer and his ensemble cast brought to the screen. The film still holds enough fascination among fans that they're still asking lingering questions about the film's reshoot process and what it left out of Ayer and company's original vision for the film. While we may never get to see Ayer's full original plans for the film in some kind of finished version, the filmmaker has managed to let fans in on some key details in the years since the film was released. 

This week, in response to a fan question on Twitter, Ayer let even more details about his original Suicide Squad vision out when he was asked if it was true that El Diablo, the fan-favorite pyrokinetic antihero played by Jay Hernandez, was originally going to survive the film. Ayer confirmed that was true, then added a bit more.

Even in the months leading up to Suicide Squad's release, fans were speculating about the reported reshoots on the film, wondering what had been changed and what Ayer was able to keep from his original plans. Now we have confirmation that at least two key pieces of the film's original ending were quite different. As you may recall, El Diablo spends much of the film resisting his fire powers after vowing he'd never use them again, then finally unleashes them in a battle against the villainous Incubus. Ayer intended the character to survive, perhaps with some kind of closure tied to his tragic past, but somewhere along the way it was decided that a character other than Slipknot (who died early on in the film to show the audience that the explosive devices in the team's necks actually worked) needed to put the "suicide" in Suicide Squad

Then there's the Deadshot/Harley romance. Or, what would've been the Deadshot/Harley romance. Will Smith and Margot Robbie were easily among the most praised elements in the film, and their chemistry made up a key part of the emotional backbone of the story. With that in mind, it would make sense to pair them up by the end of the film, but of course Joker is an ever-popular character, and the film presented an opportunity to exploit the "mad love" vibes of Mr. J and Harley. In the end, Harley dumped Joker anyway sometime before Birds of Prey, but it would have been nice to see her make the unexpected choice a bit earlier.

Sadly, this version of the story didn't make it to the big screen, but it's nice to think they're watching the further adventures of Harley Quinn and her boyfriend Deadshot on some alternate Earth somewhere.

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