While Suicide Squad eventually became a big hit, it took a very rocky road to get there. Said road involved essentially taking it out of the hands of the very talented David Ayer and recutting the film to accentuate what Warner Bros. executives believed audiences wanted to see. This all stems from the very well-received trailer for the movie, whose Queen soundtrack seems to have received such a positive response that WB demanded the film be recut to be more like the preview.
Along the way, a lot of the character development was either chopped or drastically shortened. The biggest casualties were Killer Croc, whose motivations and backstory almost entirely ended up on the cutting room floor, and Boomerang, whose character was softened substantially. Warner Bros. surprisingly also cut several scenes involving Jared Leto’s Joker, including him arguing with Harley in the helicopter and making a return in the movie’s climax with a half-burned face.
Ayer, who has previously said that he got his “throat cut” on the movie, weighed in this week on Twitter in response to a fan question on the use of pop music and whether the Squad was more “fleshed out” as a family. On the music, he said there was apparently “much less” of it in his cut and “of course” there was more development for the various members of Task Force X.
While Warner Bros. are probably happy with the performance of Suicide Squad, it’s frustrating to see a good to decent movie struggling to get out of the theatrical cut. After this and the Justice League debacle, you’re tempted to tell the studio to just trust their directors and let them pursue their creative visions. I guess we’ll see how that works out in a couple of weeks when Aquaman swims into theaters.