David Ayer Is Still Unhappy About ‘Suicide Squad:’ ‘That S–t Broke Me’

David Ayer has long been vocal about his frustrating experience directing the 2016 DC Comics movie “Suicide Squad,” and deep dislike for the version that was ultimately released in theaters.

But in a recent appearance on Jon Bernthal’s podcast “Real Ones” (via The Playlist), Ayer made it clear that 7 years later the emotional wounds are still fresh.

Said Ayer: “Hollywood—I tell people—is like watching someone you love get f—ed by someone you hate. The big one is ‘Suicide Squad.’ That shit broke me. That handed me my ass.”

Ayer detailed how he wound up with “Suicide Squad” and what, exactly, went wrong. The job came after he’d finished the World War II movie “Fury,” which also featured Bernthal.

“Come right off ‘Fury,’ right? I had the town in my hand—could’ve done anything, and I did do anything,” Ayer said. “And go on this journey with [‘Suicide Squad’]. And the same thing—authentic, truthful, let’s do all the rehearsal, let’s really get in each other’s souls. Let’s create this amazing, collaborative thing, right? And then ‘Deadpool’ opened. And they never tested ‘Batman v. Superman,’ so they were expecting a different result and then they got hammered by all the critics. Then it’s like, ‘Okay, we’re going to turn David Ayer’s dark, soulful movie into a f—ing comedy now.’”

The undoing of “Suicide Squad” is a saga that has been told before. After the trailer, which paired footage of the film with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” because a viral hit, Warner Bros. hired the company that made the trailers to edit the movie itself.

The resulting version went on to make $747 million worldwide, and spawned two follow ups — “Birds of Prey,” the Harley Quinn spinoff directed by Cathy Yan and starring Margot Robbie premiered in 2020, (less than a month before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began). And James Gunn’s 2021 sequel/soft reboot, “The Suicide Squad.”

But it the 2016 film was panned by critics and Ayer eventually disowned it. But the director has embraced the idea of releasing an “Ayer Cut,” similar to Zack Snyder, who was allowed to re-edit “Justice League” as a 4-hour HBO Max event, with the studio funding $70 million for reshoots.

Could Ayer’s cut of “Suicide Squad” rise from the dead? It seems unlikely. But there were those of us who never thought that Snyder’s version of “Justice League” would see the light of day. Stranger things have happened!

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