Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan shares her support for David Ayer and the production issues he faced while making Suicide Squad. Back in 2016, Suicide Squad was positioned as the third film in the DC Extended Universe and introduced audiences to the titular team of villains/anti-heroes. Early buzz for the film was positive, as fans were intrigued by Suicide Squad‘s colorful trailers and promotional materials. However, when Suicide Squad actually hit theaters, it was slammed with negative reviews that criticized its confused tone and muddled plot. For the most part since then, Ayer has stood by the released film and insisted it was his own cut.
However, recent weeks have seen Ayer change his tune drastically. Ayer has been outspoken on social media about how his original plans for Suicide Squad were torn apart by Warner Bros. as the studio took over production during re-shoots. According to the director, various character arcs were demolished (such as Harley Quinn’s) and the darker tone he had envisioned was replaced following the poor response to the somber Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Warner Bros. made numerous changes to Ayer‘s original script, providing yet another example of extreme studio interference.
Ayer has already earned the support of James Gunn, who is directing the semi-sequel/reboot The Suicide Squad, but now he has another DC director in his corner. Yan, whose Birds of Prey was released earlier this year, replied to one of Ayer‘s tweets regarding Suicide Squad’s re-shoots by saying, “I’m so sorry this happened to you, David. I know the pain.” Countless directors have echoed how frustrating it is to have a studio meddle in their original plans, and Yan is the latest to admit to this.
Yan‘s Birds of Prey starred Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and told the story of her emancipation from the Joker (Jared Leto). Many fans have been quick to praise Birds of Prey for its portrayal of Harley while criticizing what Suicide Squad did with her character. However, Ayer has responded to those complaints by acknowledging the issues with Harley’s arc and insisting he had a better arc planned for her, it was just heavily altered in re-shoots.
Ayer‘s new revelations about Suicide Squad‘s production has led to some fans calling on Warner Bros. to release the director’s cut of the film. This comes just over a week after Warner Bros. finally approved the release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League, another DC film that saw its original plan heavily altered. As of right now, Warner Bros. hasn’t commented on the possibility of releasing the Ayer Cut, though it does say a lot that the conversation around it has only grown over the past few days. With more directors like Yan backing Ayer, a future director’s cut release of Suicide Squad might not be entirely out of the question. Only time will tell.