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Next week, Task Force X is returning to the big screen with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. The new movie follows five years after the team’s first cinematic outing, with Training Day’s David Ayer directing that feature. While 2016’s Suicide Squad performed commercially well, it was by no means a critical darling, but in the years following its release, it’s been revealed that Ayer’s original vision for the movie was drastically altered for the theatrical cut. As such, there have been numerous calls for Warner Bros to release the “Ayer Cut” of Suicide Squad, and the filmmaker himself now opened up about his troubled past to elaborate on his reasoning for why he’ll never give up on seeing this version of the movie made available to the masses.
Taking to Twitter, David Ayer went into great depth about how difficult his life has been, from “doing a lot of stupid and dangerous shit” in his younger years to experiencing things in the Navy that “seared his soul” to getting “sucked back into the streets.” Then Ayer had the opportunity to make Training Day, and he said the main lesson he took away from the Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke-led feature was to “put your pain on the page.” Noting that he writes about his “lived truth,” Ayer said the following about his work on Suicide Squad:
I put my life into Suicide Squad. I made something amazing - My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some "bad people" who are shit on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul). The studio cut is not my movie. Read that again. And my cut is not the 10 week director's cut - It's a fully mature edit by Lee Smith standing on the incredibly work by John Gilroy. It's all Steven Price's brilliant score, with not a single radio song in the whole thing. It has traditional character arcs, amazing performances, a solid 3rd Act resolution. A handful of people have seen it. If someone says they have seen it, they haven't.
Before going further, it’s worth noting that David Ayer’s statement about the Ayer Cut was in response to someone saying that he should “abandon the idea of that director’s cut” after they’d seen The Suicide Squad. But David Ayer isn’t willing to give up on this, saying he doesn’t have “any quit” in him since “every day breathing is a gift.” However, Ayer doesn’t ever intend to sharing his side of the story on what happened with Suicide Squad, as he keeps his “covenants” and has simply endured the “sometimes shockingly personal criticism” that’s been directed at him.
All this isn’t to say that David Ayer holds any ill will towards James Gunn for making The Suicide Squad. Quite the opposite, as Ayer capped off his statement with the following:
I'm so proud of James and excited for the success that's coming. I support WB and am thrilled the franchise is getting the legs it needs. I'm rooting for everyone, the cast, the crew. Every movie is a miracle. And Jame's brilliant work will be the miracles of miracles. I appreciate your patience. I will no longer speak publicly on this matter.
Following last year’s announcement that HBO Max would release Zack Snyder’s Justice League (it premiered on the streaming service on April), fans launched the #ReleaseTheAyerCut in the hopes that Suicide Squad would receive the same kind of treatment. And along with what he mentioned above, Ayer has been open over the years about not only how the plot of his Suicide Squad differed from what was shown in theaters, but why his vision was changed so drastically, attributing it to the success of Deadpool and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s poor critical reception. However, in March, Warner Bros chairman and CEO Ann Sarnoff said there are no plans to release the Ayer Cut.
Nevertheless, while he doesn’t plan to say anything more about the Ayer Cut publicly, Dave Ayer hasn’t given up on his version of Suicide Squad someday being released. Among the people who have come out in support for him following this statement is James Gunn, who tweeted this:
Needless to say that if Warner Bros changes its mind and decides to release Suicide Squad’s Ayer Cut on HBO Max, we’ll let you know. For now though, you can check out The Suicide Squad both in theaters and on the aforementioned streaming service (which you can sign up for with this link) starting August 5. The movie has been met with critical acclaim, and along with Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis and Joel Kinnaman reprising their respective roles from the first Suicide Squad movie, the lineup of new talent includes Idris Elba, John Cena, Daniela Melchior, Peter Capaldi and David Dastmalchian, among others.
As always, keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all the biggest updates concerning upcoming DC Comics movies.