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Warner Bros. has no plans to pursue David Ayer's original cut of Suicide Squad

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Mar 22, 2021, 7:55 PM EDT

Following the negative reception to his interpretation of the Joker in Suicide Squad, Jared Leto was able to get the last laugh when Zack Snyder asked him to reprise the role for the director's massive Justice League overhaul. Alas, Suicide Squad director David Ayer will not be granted the same liberty. Chatting with Variety, Warner Bros. chief Ann Sarnoff definitively shot down any hope for the original cut of the 2016 team-up film, whose incredibly lukewarm reception prompted an immediate reboot, despite a sizable box office draw and an Oscar win (for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling).

"We won’t be developing David Ayer’s cut," Sarnoff said when asked if the studio was interested in a repeat of something along the lines Zack Snyder's Justice League. So it seems like a blank check to deliver a 4-hour feature will be a one-off occurrence — at least for now. And it doesn't sound like WB is in any rush to develop Snyder's so-called "SnyderVerse," either, which would include his two follow-ups to Justice League.

"I appreciate that [fans] love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his many contributions to DC," Sarnoff added. "We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the Justice League to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy [that he began with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman]. We’re very happy we’ve done this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all the multi-dimensional DC characters that are being developed right now."

Sure, the studio may come around in a couple of years, but it's not hard to see why it isn't super eager to revisit past missteps like Suicide Squad. For one thing, we're on the verge of a soft reboot — The Suicide Squad — with writer/director James Gunn at the helm. If he can work even a fraction of his Marvel magic on the DCEU, then Ayer's first movie will, to borrow an MCU term, be blipped out of recent memory.

Ayer, who hasn't been shy about what the studio got rid of in post-production, responded to the news on Twitter with a sad-faced emoji and a single word: "Why?" He reiterated his support for Gunn in a follow-up tweet, responding to the topic of dueling Suicide Squad projects. Nevertheless, Ayer's experience with Task Force X still left a bad taste in his mouth. Last summer, the filmmaker described his version as a "soulful drama" that was "beaten into 'comedy'" following the success of Fox's Deadpool.

"It does not contradict the first movie. I don't think. It might in some small ways...I dont know," Gunn told Empire Magazine of his pseudo-sequel. "Listen, David Ayer's gotten trouble for the movie. I know it didn't come out how David wanted it to come out. But he did one really, really great thing, and that is he picked fantastic actors to work with, and he dealt with these actors in building their characters in a really deep and fearless way. It's something David definitely deserves to be lauded for, and it definitely added to this movie."

The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max Friday, Aug. 5.