The Truth Behind Suicide Squad: A Rushed Script, Multiple Editors And Two Totally Different Versions

New report reveals a fraught production.

Suicide Squad Ayer DC
Warner Bros. Pictures/DC

If I'd been writing this article twenty-four hours ago, I'd have opened saying that expectations were unbelievably high for Suicide Squad. Its marketing has been exemplary and after two faux-epic duds it looked like a DC movie that would get it right. Then the reviews hit and suddenly everything flipped. They're really rather negative, and at best set up Task Force X's debut feature as a highly divisive product not dissimilar (in reaction at least) to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

I haven't seen the film yet (the UK Multimedia Screening is Thursday at 7pm, mere hours before general release), so can't comment on its quality, but what I can talk about is how fraught the production appears to have been. THR have just published a report of behind-the-scenes turmoil (their second of the day) that reveals things were incredibly convoluted from the very start.

David Ayer, an unproven director of tentpoles, was locked into an incredibly tight production period, having to finish the script in six weeks before starting shooting. Once that leak-heavy ordeal was over, the edit was plagued with conflict between director and studio, with the former wanting a characteristically moody movie, while the studio favoured something light in tone, a debate only made more intense by the positive response to a marketing campaign that is allegedly not all the like the film.

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Cue a rotation of editors trying to bring things in line with two competing commands, various test screenings of varying levels of success and eventually two different cuts vying for release (somewhere within which those reshoots came).

To a degree this is pretty typical - remember when Paramount made a 90 minute cut of Noah, complete with bookmarking hymns? - but the relentlessness of it all brings to mind less successful tales. You can check out the full report over at THR, but it's evident that this wasn't one of those overwhelmingly fun projects to make.

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All that being said, if we immediately disregarded every movie that didn't run to plan we wouldn't have any movies. It's part of the process. That the problems here are all clearly forced commercial ideas from high-up execs is worrying, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited for the film. Fingers crossed, eh? What's your take? Let us know down in the comments.

Suicide Squad is in cinemas from Friday.

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Contributor

Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.