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David Ayer pens thoughtful reflection on success/criticism of Suicide Squad

01.22.2017

Everyone and their mothers have an opinion about SUICIDE SQUAD. A lot hated it, a good amount loved it, and mothers kept asking why the man with the green hair kept purring like cat. But the people we don’t often hear from are the cast and crew, who I’m sure have done the best they can to avoid the critical lashing of the movie. The person who probably gave the most to this movie, and therefore must have the most to say, is writer/director David Ayer, who took to Twitter to write an honest, reflective, and occasionally surprising note about the success/failure of the movie:

Many were probably wondering if Ayer would ever be involved with the DCEU again after the critical backlash the movie received, but the director will return for GOTHAM CITY SIRENS with Margot Robbie and an unknown cast of badass ladies. Though we don't know much about the movie, I'm sure we can all take comfort in knowing Ayer won't have them doing the CGI Macarena anytime soon.

In terms of overall factoids, the part where he says he would’ve made The Joker the main villain if he could go back is the most illuminating, as I wished he would’ve done that as well. It would’ve put Harley (Robbie) in a more complex situation, and obviously would’ve given us an engaging presentation of The Clown Prince, instead of the pop-up version we got. Overrall, though, what I admire most about the letter is the honesty. Ayer realizes this wasn’t a perfect movie, but like the great filmmaker he is he will learn from the experience to make future movies better. Call me a lame-ass, but a good lesson is the best reward you can get from any experience. Plus, this means he now has no excuse for making SIRENS anything but Oscar-worthy. No pressure, Ayer.

SUICIDE SQUAD is out on Blu-ray and Digital HD now...with no bevy of unseen Joker scenes.

Source: Twitter

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4:11PM on 01/23/2017

Good reflections...

But honestly, the main problem (IMO) was The Joker. Maybe was Leto, maybe was Ayer, I dunno...
Nevertheless, you have THE most iconic bad guy of all time, the other side of the coin, the one with the mystery, the craziness and yet, with the Charisma... and you turn it into a emo-douchebag f*cking-club-owner maniac that purrs like a kitten? Damn.. that is one hell of a bad choice.

If they made a good Joker, while unnecessary for the story, it would have worked! The material was there! There
But honestly, the main problem (IMO) was The Joker. Maybe was Leto, maybe was Ayer, I dunno...
Nevertheless, you have THE most iconic bad guy of all time, the other side of the coin, the one with the mystery, the craziness and yet, with the Charisma... and you turn it into a emo-douchebag f*cking-club-owner maniac that purrs like a kitten? Damn.. that is one hell of a bad choice.

If they made a good Joker, while unnecessary for the story, it would have worked! The material was there! There are several interpretations (not only Ledgers), but all one of them, are charismatic, intriguing, scary, and even funny.

A f*cking club owner... damn! I still can't believe they went for that one...
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10:19AM on 01/23/2017
The background story for each character is great but the overall plotline isn't. I think most people don't like the movie mainly because they expect to see The Joker more. I like the movie but don't like the Real Plot of the movie.
The background story for each character is great but the overall plotline isn't. I think most people don't like the movie mainly because they expect to see The Joker more. I like the movie but don't like the Real Plot of the movie.
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9:13AM on 01/23/2017
This guy gets it. Good luck on the next prospect. I'm excited for more.
This guy gets it. Good luck on the next prospect. I'm excited for more.
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3:02AM on 01/23/2017
I almost commented, but then I saw that Des1's feelings on Suicide Squad echo mine almost to a tee.

I will add this though, I'm giving this a thumbs down because Ayer has made some garbage films, but he's also made some pretty good stuff and I'd rather seem him do just about anything than another DC film. When the studio talks about wanting to make Justice League different than Batman v Superman I believe them, but Suicide Squad made the same domestically and only $100 mil off worldwide on
I almost commented, but then I saw that Des1's feelings on Suicide Squad echo mine almost to a tee.

I will add this though, I'm giving this a thumbs down because Ayer has made some garbage films, but he's also made some pretty good stuff and I'd rather seem him do just about anything than another DC film. When the studio talks about wanting to make Justice League different than Batman v Superman I believe them, but Suicide Squad made the same domestically and only $100 mil off worldwide on a much smaller budget, small advertising campaign and noticeably lower expectations. So at the end of the day, I'm pretty DC would be very happy with more of the dame which is exactly what Gotham City sirens feels like.
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6:43PM on 01/22/2017

I like his candor....

but there are just so many bad warning signs here I don't know. The movie was a horrible jumble of problems starting with the cast (most notably having the main villain be someone who isn't even an actress). Robbie, Davis and Smith held down their parts very well, but everyone else could have been replaced and you wouldn't have noticed (although Jay Hernandez did an admirable job in the only other role that mattered). Second was the bad versions of the characters. When Arrow and The Flash
but there are just so many bad warning signs here I don't know. The movie was a horrible jumble of problems starting with the cast (most notably having the main villain be someone who isn't even an actress). Robbie, Davis and Smith held down their parts very well, but everyone else could have been replaced and you wouldn't have noticed (although Jay Hernandez did an admirable job in the only other role that mattered). Second was the bad versions of the characters. When Arrow and The Flash do a better job of creating Captain Boomerang than the DC movie, you know you have some people with problems understanding the characters.

Everyone knows the CGI crapfest and disposable henchman was a huge negative for the film, but I thought the biggest problem was Leto's interpretation of the Joker. The LAST thing I wanted to see was more of him on screen. He could have been a bigger pain in their ass (ala Escape From Arkham), but portraying him as a gangster club owner was just freaking stupid (especially the idiotic tattoos). The backstory was terrible (it needed at least 5 more minutes to establish WHY she loved him and his abusive relationship with her) as well.

I appreciate Ayer's attitude, but this girl-power movie is a dangerous place to start. Suicide Squad was worth a shot because of the powered villains (and Harley as comic relief). If you do the same thing with Catwoman and Poison Ivy, then add in a streetcrime premise, I don't see how it's going to be a money-maker. Maybe some people will love that, but it makes it too pedestrian for a movie I'm going to go spend $20-$30 on.
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8:17AM on 01/23/2017
Both Arrow and Flash suck compared to what the DCEU is doing.
Both Arrow and Flash suck compared to what the DCEU is doing.
11:24AM on 01/23/2017
In Leto's defense, he had to follow the most critically acclaimed version of the Joker, on a lesser film, and with less screen time. More time would have allowed to make a more complete character.
In Leto's defense, he had to follow the most critically acclaimed version of the Joker, on a lesser film, and with less screen time. More time would have allowed to make a more complete character.
12:26PM on 01/23/2017
Soloist.....first of all, no they don't. Arrow has always been mediocre, but the TV show The Flash is better than anything the DCEU has done to date. Second, my comment was about the character Boomerang. The version on Arrow & Flash was VASTLY better than the bumbling boob version we got in Suicide Squad. It even made sense why he used boomerangs and he felt like a real threat as a villain. The film version looked like a homeless guy with a unicorn fetish.
Soloist.....first of all, no they don't. Arrow has always been mediocre, but the TV show The Flash is better than anything the DCEU has done to date. Second, my comment was about the character Boomerang. The version on Arrow & Flash was VASTLY better than the bumbling boob version we got in Suicide Squad. It even made sense why he used boomerangs and he felt like a real threat as a villain. The film version looked like a homeless guy with a unicorn fetish.
12:29PM on 01/23/2017
Jimmy.....I thought about that when I was making my comment. It's hard to put into words, but I disliked the core of Leto's portrayal, which is why I thought more of him would have just been more annoying to me. But you're right, having more of him in the film would have fixed some of the problems with the backstory to his and Harley's relationship. I just can't imagine it getting better with more of Leto if they'd done a Joker story in place of the dancing Kardashian after seeing the
Jimmy.....I thought about that when I was making my comment. It's hard to put into words, but I disliked the core of Leto's portrayal, which is why I thought more of him would have just been more annoying to me. But you're right, having more of him in the film would have fixed some of the problems with the backstory to his and Harley's relationship. I just can't imagine it getting better with more of Leto if they'd done a Joker story in place of the dancing Kardashian after seeing the finished product .
9:12PM on 01/23/2017
That's why DC cast someone else as The Flash and eventually Green Arrow because they're doing such a great jobs, huh??? I absolutely can't wait to see the DCEU version of Flash blow the shitty series out of the water.

Guess I'm just not a fan of melo drama teen angst bullshit/romance stories.
That's why DC cast someone else as The Flash and eventually Green Arrow because they're doing such a great jobs, huh??? I absolutely can't wait to see the DCEU version of Flash blow the shitty series out of the water.

Guess I'm just not a fan of melo drama teen angst bullshit/romance stories.
6:33PM on 01/22/2017
His humility is refreshing. Seems like the whole thing was a learning experience for him. Good luck on the project.
His humility is refreshing. Seems like the whole thing was a learning experience for him. Good luck on the project.
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5:18PM on 01/22/2017
I don't blame Ayer for the problems with Suicide Squad. I blame the Parkinson's patient with a machete that they hired as an editor.
I don't blame Ayer for the problems with Suicide Squad. I blame the Parkinson's patient with a machete that they hired as an editor.
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2:56PM on 01/22/2017

Well

could we make him the villain in the next one then ?
could we make him the villain in the next one then ?
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2:56PM on 01/22/2017

It needed more face tattoos. That's what was missing.

I like David Ayer's cop dramas and a lot of his work, but this movie was definitely one of, if not, the worst movie of 2016. It is terrible. I also don't get the man's obsession with gang culture and the need to dress all his character for it (in all of his movies). Also, for David Ayer to say he required hindsight to realize that the Joker would have been a better villain than Enchantress / her Playstation 2 animated brother is criminal.
I like David Ayer's cop dramas and a lot of his work, but this movie was definitely one of, if not, the worst movie of 2016. It is terrible. I also don't get the man's obsession with gang culture and the need to dress all his character for it (in all of his movies). Also, for David Ayer to say he required hindsight to realize that the Joker would have been a better villain than Enchantress / her Playstation 2 animated brother is criminal.
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2:39PM on 01/22/2017
Compare this to the letter Alex Proyas wrote about Gods of Egypt. Suicide Squad was bad, but directors take all the blame but don't get to make all the decisions.
Compare this to the letter Alex Proyas wrote about Gods of Egypt. Suicide Squad was bad, but directors take all the blame but don't get to make all the decisions.
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2:55PM on 01/22/2017
IDK I try my hardest to like gods of egypt I love myths, I love proyas, the actors were awesome that were in it, but IDK it was just terrible, maybe one day I'll like it.
IDK I try my hardest to like gods of egypt I love myths, I love proyas, the actors were awesome that were in it, but IDK it was just terrible, maybe one day I'll like it.
2:25PM on 01/22/2017
Reflection is always worthwhile. I just hope that WB don't pin the lack of popular reception solely on his shoulders as it could mean they want to keep a tighter watch over Sirens which, though personally I don't like the idea of, could mean he won't be able to employ the lessons learned making SS and it may be even worse therefore limiting his career in the process.
Reflection is always worthwhile. I just hope that WB don't pin the lack of popular reception solely on his shoulders as it could mean they want to keep a tighter watch over Sirens which, though personally I don't like the idea of, could mean he won't be able to employ the lessons learned making SS and it may be even worse therefore limiting his career in the process.
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1:46PM on 01/22/2017

Well, at least he knows

It's good to see a filmmaker capable of looking at his work with some distance, especially after making a film that didn't work as intended. It's the first step towards being better; it's not the only step but it is undoubtedly the first one.

My problem is with Warner Bros.. As a studio, they just dove into the superhero business without being fully prepared and they just don't seem prepared to learn from their mistakes and are ruining a bunch of very good properties as a result.
It's good to see a filmmaker capable of looking at his work with some distance, especially after making a film that didn't work as intended. It's the first step towards being better; it's not the only step but it is undoubtedly the first one.

My problem is with Warner Bros.. As a studio, they just dove into the superhero business without being fully prepared and they just don't seem prepared to learn from their mistakes and are ruining a bunch of very good properties as a result.
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2:22PM on 01/22/2017
Everything you say echoes my thoughts around this too. It wasn't a great film, if I was to suggest and example of the perfect story divide between these characters I would have said to turn to Assault on Arkham which has everything this film should have had. You're also spot on with WB not taking time to plan things out. I know they would be years behind Marvel in terms of their ensemble pieces but isn't it better to build the properties carefully and invest the time in a plan rather than just
Everything you say echoes my thoughts around this too. It wasn't a great film, if I was to suggest and example of the perfect story divide between these characters I would have said to turn to Assault on Arkham which has everything this film should have had. You're also spot on with WB not taking time to plan things out. I know they would be years behind Marvel in terms of their ensemble pieces but isn't it better to build the properties carefully and invest the time in a plan rather than just appearing to fumble around with them and try and capture Marvel's success. WB/DC could have had their own, very different but equally deserved success.
1:00PM on 01/22/2017
I like the fact that instead of lashing out at the fans like many artists now do, he takes time to admit his mistakes and want to make something better next.
I like the fact that instead of lashing out at the fans like many artists now do, he takes time to admit his mistakes and want to make something better next.
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2:22PM on 01/22/2017
Paul Feig should take note.
Paul Feig should take note.
12:42PM on 01/22/2017

This movie was awful plain and simple

The pacing was dreadful from start to finish, and the movie had no idea what it was trying to do. Zero on screen chemistry between the entire squad, throw away bad guys/henchman and villain. It had the clever blue beam in the sky third act that for some reason started when the 2nd act should have.

The movie looks like it was edited by 5 different people and then thrown together with some "catchy" tunes, and then add a spoonful of hot topic. It was a super hero/villain movie for
The pacing was dreadful from start to finish, and the movie had no idea what it was trying to do. Zero on screen chemistry between the entire squad, throw away bad guys/henchman and villain. It had the clever blue beam in the sky third act that for some reason started when the 2nd act should have.

The movie looks like it was edited by 5 different people and then thrown together with some "catchy" tunes, and then add a spoonful of hot topic. It was a super hero/villain movie for millennials that requires zero thinking as well as continuity.
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12:20PM on 01/22/2017
There are some great comic book films (Batman Begins, Dark Knight, X2, Spider-man 2, Iron Man, etc.), there are some awful ones (Catwoman, Elektra, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider 2, etc.) and there is a whole lot in the middle. Suicide Squad is one of those that fall into that middle category, an overall entertaining film that had issues and room for imrpovement. I liked it more on a second viewing and did find it a unique entry into the comic book film genre. However, I'm not sure the Sirens film
There are some great comic book films (Batman Begins, Dark Knight, X2, Spider-man 2, Iron Man, etc.), there are some awful ones (Catwoman, Elektra, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider 2, etc.) and there is a whole lot in the middle. Suicide Squad is one of those that fall into that middle category, an overall entertaining film that had issues and room for imrpovement. I liked it more on a second viewing and did find it a unique entry into the comic book film genre. However, I'm not sure the Sirens film is a good idea at this point of the DCCU.
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12:08PM on 01/22/2017
At least he acknowledges that he screwed up. Ayer is known for dark gritty films that with a lot of street talk dialog, I was hoping he'd take his End of Watch / Training Day style to this film but he didn't. There was virtually almost no chemistry between any of the characters. Part of it was because of studio interference. Anyways I hope he'll try to make that change in his next film.
At least he acknowledges that he screwed up. Ayer is known for dark gritty films that with a lot of street talk dialog, I was hoping he'd take his End of Watch / Training Day style to this film but he didn't. There was virtually almost no chemistry between any of the characters. Part of it was because of studio interference. Anyways I hope he'll try to make that change in his next film.
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12:05PM on 01/22/2017
I like David Ayers. I haven't watched Suicide Squad, and at this point I've kind of spoiled it for myself, but I'm glad to hear him give his own thoughts on the movie. Even though it made a bunch of money, I worried a film this high-profile, being raked over the coals like it was might hurt Ayers in the long-run. I'm glad he'll get another shot at a DC property, as I believe he's a far better director when it comes to gritty action than Snyder is. But I'm legit worried about DCEU, because the
I like David Ayers. I haven't watched Suicide Squad, and at this point I've kind of spoiled it for myself, but I'm glad to hear him give his own thoughts on the movie. Even though it made a bunch of money, I worried a film this high-profile, being raked over the coals like it was might hurt Ayers in the long-run. I'm glad he'll get another shot at a DC property, as I believe he's a far better director when it comes to gritty action than Snyder is. But I'm legit worried about DCEU, because the more they deliver sub-standard work (I'm not just comparing with Marvel, but also their own animated work) the less I'll be willing to give them a chance. Here's hoping Wonder Woman is as awesome as it looks.
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