Fans were gobsmacked when director Zack Snyder revealed that WarnerMedia’s new streaming service HBO Max would “Release the Snyder Cut” of ‘Justice League’, after supporters spent three years lobbying Warner Brothers to unveil a director’s cut after Snyder either quit or was fired after principle photography and before editing and reshoots. Joss Whedon directed the reshoots, edited the final theatrical edit, and replaced the score by Junkie XL with another by Danny Elfman. The theatrical version of ‘Justice League’ was both a box office and critical disappointment.
Unlike Snyder, Ayer was not replaced by another director, but it is pretty much common knowledge that after the dismal reception given to ‘Batman V Superman’, Ayer was forced to change the tone of ‘Suicide Squad’ to make it lighter. It is also well-known that Ayer shot so much footage of Jared Leto’s Joker that it could almost be edited together as its own movie. And Leto went full-method with this role, embodying his demented character even when the cameras weren’t rolling.
But Ayer played by the rules. Prior to ‘Suicide Squad’s release, the director insisted:
“We have a chunk, there’s definitely over 10 minutes of material on there. But this cut of the movie is my cut, there’s no sort of parallel universe version of the movie. The released movie is my cut. And that’s one of the toughest things about writing, shooting, and directing a film, is you end up with these orphans and you f—ing love them and you think they’d be amazing scenes and do these amazing things but the film is a dictatorship (laughs), not a democracy, and just because something’s cool and charismatic doesn’t mean it gets to survive in the final cut. The flow of the movie is the highest master.”
However, when asked by a fan if there was a chance that “The Ayer Cut” could be released one day, Ayer basically replied that it wasn’t his decision to make.
It is simply not my call or my IP. I love WB – it’s always been my ‘home studio’ I fully respect and support the incredible path the DCU is taking under their stewardship. My cut of Suicide Squad may always be just a rumor. And that’s just fine. https://t.co/Prlp8bPgy4
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) May 21, 2020
There are a few things working against the idea of an “Ayer Cut.” For starters, fans haven’t been clamoring for one for years the way that they have for Snyder’s ‘Justice League’. And regarding all that unseen Joker footage, people HATED Leto’s Joker. It’s somewhat doubtful people really want to see more. And then there’s the fact that the character of The Joker has already been reinvented to massive success with Joaquin Phoenix’s Academy Award-winning performance in Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’, a movie that made over a billion dollars on a budget of $50-70 million.
On top of that, there is ‘Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn’). While this wasn’t a sequel to ‘Suicide Squad’, many viewed it that way and avoided it. ‘Birds of Prey’ made a modest $33M its opening weekend and ended its theatrical run with only a meager $200M. (But to be fair, it also opened RIGHT before every theater in America shut down du to COVID-19.)
Working in the favor of “The Ayer Cut” is the upcoming reboot ‘The Suicide Squad’ to be directed by James Gunn. Releasing “The Ayer Cut” around the time ‘The Suicide Squad’ hits theaters could pay off as interest in the first film will surely be rekindled.
What do you think? Would you like to see “The Ayer Cut” of ‘Suicide Squad’?