HBO Max’s decision to pour millions of dollars into completing the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League sets a strange and potentially troubling precedent. The long-rumored Snyder Cut will arrive on the new streaming platform next year (hopefully people who subscribe to HBO through Roku and Amazon will be able to access Max by then), but in the meantime, another filmmaker is touting a director’s cut of his own critically-maligned DC movie: David Ayer. Following a tweet from May 25, in which Ayer suggested it would be pretty “easy” to put together a director’s cut of Suicide Squad, the filmmaker claims that Warner Bros.’ meddling with his film transformed it from a “soulful drama” into a comedy. Ayer says his original script was “perfectly coherent,” and calls his cut of Suicide Squad “methodical. Layered. Complex, beautiful and sad.” You know, all the things you might expect from a movie featuring a giant killer crocodile man named Killer Croc.
As seen above, Ayer also says that his Suicide Squad script had more direct ties to Justice League, and that Jared Leto’s Nu Juggalo Joker was “rich and dimensional” before WB took over. To be completely fair, we wouldn’t NOT watch the Ayer cut of Suicide Squad if it happened to make its way out into the world. But surely there are better ways to use that kind of money, especially right now.
Perhaps more interestingly, Birds Of Prey director Cathy Yan retweeted Ayer with a comment that suggests her film underwent similar cuts:
That’s not exactly surprising—Birds Of Prey is structured to essentially introduce one character at a time, and the editing is such that each portion of the film feels like it’s lacking just one more scene to really stick the landing (to say nothing of the clearly neutered exchanges between Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina’s villains, who very obviously have a romantic relationship that could’ve made WB a little nervous).